Friday, December 19, 2014

Perfectly Translated

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

My dear Janet and I were missionaries for four years in what was known then as West Germany. We traveled throughout Europe teaching and preaching and, believe me, we could tell you some interesting stories. But there is one that fits the holiday we are celebrating now, Christmas. 

I was in a service listening to a speaker and translator. The speaker was very animated, the translator, not so much. While he could translate the English words into his language, he didn’t always translate their meaning. At one point the evangelist said, “Give God a hand!” The translator repeated the words literally and the audience looked at one another with expressions of, give him what? The words were correct, but the meaning failed to connect. 

By now, you may be asking, how does this fit in with Christmas? Here’s how. Jesus came and was the perfect translator for God. He connected the message and the meaning. By being made flesh, Jesus put on “skin” to reveal God, who had been veiled in the Temple through ritual. Jesus translated God in perfect words, actions, and passion. 

Furthermore, He didn’t just come to translate God to men, but also to reconcile men to God. As the perfect Translator, He broke the barrier between man and God—our sin—and removed it by dying in our stead on the cross of Calvary. Paul wrote to Timothy, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” [1 Timothy 2:5-6].

From an eternal perspective, Jesus’ time on earth was a short-term mission trip. However, He left His disciples, and you and me, with a fantastic challenge. He said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” [John 20:21]. Christ followers now continue the mission trip that God sent His Son on over 2,000 years ago. Let's be good translators!

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. Hebrews 1:1-3a

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