And when they [Joseph and Mary] had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. Luke 2:39-40 (ESV)
Lord Jesus, though you began your life in our world totally on your parent’s care, Mary and Joseph didn’t realize how even more dependent they were on you. As obedient Jewish parents, they performed “everything according to the Law of the Lord” on your behalf. But for the next thirty-three years of your life, you perfectly fulfilled everything required in the Law for Mary and Joseph, and for us. Hallelujah, many times over!
You didn’t come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill for us. What we could never do, you’ve accomplished for us, once and for all. What we could never be, you became for us. You are our Substitute to trust, before you are our example to follow.
We praise, worship, and adore you, for so great a salvation, so firm a standing in grace, and so deep a rooting in the love of God. God’s favor, in which you’ve always lived, now rests fully and freely on us. Praise be to God!
Your last words from the cross, “It is finished!” have become our first and perpetual words of freedom. It’s not our obedience, but yours, in which we trust, boast, and hope. It’s not our righteousness, but yours, which has forever reconciled us to God. Now we obey you out of love and gratitude, not because of fear and pride.
By the same grace you’ve saved us, you’re now changing us. As you have fulfilled the Law for us, you are now fulfilling it in us. One Day we will see you as you are and we’ll be made like you. O the joy and wonder of such a gospel. Until that Day, keep us groaning and growing in grace, and free us to love others as you love us. So very Amen we pray, in your mighty and merciful name.