If you live in the southern United States, you’ve experienced briar patches. They’re sharp, painful thorns that can pop up in your grass overnight. You can’t get out of a briar patch alone, because you’ll just cause more and more damage. Once you get caught up in them, you need help to get out. Like briars, our sin entangles and traps us. There is no way to get ourselves out from under the grip of sin unless someone else comes along and helps us out.

Luke 2:8-12—That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Jesus was born as a real human—He felt and experienced the same senses and emotions that the rest of us do. But He never allowed Himself to get trapped by the briars. He never sinned—missed the mark, the bullseye, of God’s glorious standard.

God created humans to reign over the rest of the world, but the first humans chose to sin, and separated themselves from God. We now live in a fallen world where bad things happen all the time. Briars and thorns are all over the place. All of us have missed the mark. But He didn’t want humanity to stay that way forever, so He provided a way out of the briars—Jesus.

In John 18:37, Jesus said, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” Then, in John 19:1-3, soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head. They intended to inflict pain on Jesus and mock Him, but Jesus know that He was going to defeat every thorn of sin in the world. He was going to all our sin and turn struggles into blessings.

God is more powerful than any briar and any thorn you will ever come across. Not even the demons in hell can keep you away from His love. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus, the King of the world, out of majesty and into a manger to provide the way for us to get out of the briar patch.

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