Advent: Burning Coal


Sunday, December 11 (Suggested reading: Isaiah 6:1-7)

William is the 9-year old son of my friend Ashley. William is in 4th grade, and has already made quite a name for himself among his classmates. He is polite, well-spoken, and just an all-around good kid.

One morning Ashley had exciting news about William. The First Lady of the state of Georgia was coming to his school, and William had been chosen to be among the small group of student representatives to greet her.

Ashley asked William what he thought about being hand-picked to be among the few to meet Mrs. Deal.  William’s reply was classic- “Mama,” he said somberly, “I will definitely bathe that day.”

In Isaiah’s vision of God’s throne room, his response to being in the presence of the holiness of God was to immediately become aware of his own unworthiness and uncleanness. Notice that no one disagreed with him!  No one gave him the opportunity to excuse or try to justify his uncleanness, yet neither did anyone suggest he leave and come back when he was all cleaned up.

No, once Isaiah recognized his unworthiness and confessed it, and once he acknowledged that he was in the presence of a holy God, he was made clean when a seraphim touched his lips with a burning coal from the altar.

Romans 5:1 proclaims that because of Jesus we have peace with God. Jesus, God incarnate, has done this amazing redemptive work that has completely changed us from enemy of God to child of God, from being at war with God in our souls to making us right and securing eternal peace between our hearts and His.

The great hope of the Gospel, the good news that we have, is that being in God’s presence doesn’t require us to clean up our act first. If that were the case, none of us would ever make it.  No, the good news is that Jesus makes us worthy, He makes us holy. He is the only one who can redeem us and make us pure.

Jesus Christ is the burning coal that purifies us from the inside out. This is why He came- so that we can enter into the presence of Jehovah, so that we can be eternally at peace with God.

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