“Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” – Psalm 22:16-18

We find David in a state of despair in Psalm 22. He feels forsaken by God and uses vivid imagery to describe the state of affairs in his Kingdom and his heart. When reading the 22nd Psalm in its entirety, if we aren’t careful, we could miss the prophetic message of the crucifixion of Jesus in the verses above. We see this prophecy fulfilled in all 4 of the gospels (Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, John 19:24).

So why, during advent, when we are anxiously anticipating the birth of Jesus do we want to focus on a verse that so vividly reminds us of the horrific scene of the crucifixion?

In a few weeks, like many of you, I will start decorating my home for Christmas. One of my favorite decorations is a handmade tin nativity. As I set up all of the little figures I try to reflect on that night when a baby was born to a young, scared mother in that stable in Bethlehem. But during advent if I am only ever reflecting on the birth of Jesus and not also on all of the prophecies in the Old Testament that are pointing us to the crucifixion of Jesus, then I am missing the whole story, the whole plan. I am missing out on the Savior.

Jesus came into the world to die a horrific death on a cross for me, for you. That is why He came, that is why He was born. It was the plan all along. I know that I don’t want to miss the whole story…that we have an amazing God who loves us so much that He put this incredible plan into place (before the world was created!) that would cost Him so much to rescue and redeem his beloved children.

This advent, let’s celebrate the birth of Jesus as we put out our nativities, but let us also ponder the cross and the amazing love that put him there for me, for you.

Lord God, we thank you for your perfect plan of redemption. We thank you for that baby that was born to be our Savior and to rescue us from our despair and sin. May we always be pondering the cross and the love and sacrifice that was on display. What a Savior! Amen.

~ Trisha Good