[Calvary Chapel 2010-12-07 - The Door

Originally Published 2005-12-22

Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (KJV)

In ages past, before time itself was set in motion, the three persons of the Trinity formed a plan to save a race that had not yet been created, but was destined to fall from innocence in an act of disobedience to a single, simple command. The instruction would restrict mankind from eating the fruit of a single tree in all of an amazing paradise we know as the Garden of Eden. The plenty that would be available to two individuals is probably beyond our understanding. Add to that, direct fellowship with the Father. The penalty would be spelled out clearly: death. But even with such a dire fate attached to such a simple restriction in the midst of phenomenal abundance, the plan would be required. Mankind would fall. (Rev 13:8)

Creation would fall into motion under the guiding hand of an omnipotent hand and mind. God would first created light. Then He would lay out the planets and stars and set them in motion. The sea and the dry land would be separated and plants and animals would follow. Then man and woman would be put into this magnificent scene, enjoy the fellowship of the Lord, and stumble over one simple rule. The doorway to fellowship was closed. Death entered into the creation.

The promise was made of a Messiah Who would break the power of sin and death and reopen the door.

Two millennia ago, the plan came to fruition in time. The Son, Jesus, was born to Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, two obedient servants of God. They would raise their Son, Who turned water into wine, healed the sick, raised the dead, showed the true nature of the love of the Father toward a fallen race, challenged the blind leadership, and then became the perfect sacrifice to complete the plan that was laid out in eternity past. The doorway was opened again, for anyone who would accept the offering.

The plan was an accomplished feat in the mind of God from before the worlds were created.

The truth of this amazing love and gift remains in spite of the attempts by mankind to deny it. The few that have found the way to the narrow doorway know the reality of it. Many live new lives and tell the story to others. They reach out the to them like they are the one that has wandered off from the ninety and nine with the love they know from the Father for a rebellious creation. They reach out in the same way that the love of the Father reached out to them.

Two millennia ago, Jesus Christ put aside His majesty and glory, and put on our mortal, wounded flesh and dwelt among us. He was born in obscurity and poverty. That first Christmas, the angels sang for the shepherds. A mother stored many things in her heart. And the Son obeyed the Father and began the walk toward Calvary, for the one of the ninety and nine that was lost - to open the door for you and me.

Merry Christmas.

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com