We were recently in Charleston, SC and went to a Christmas Festival. As we walked through various booths we came to a jewelry stand and Gracie fell in love with a necklace pleading with me to buy it. I tried to steer her in a different direction. I thought there were other necklaces that were prettier, but she had her heart set on THIS one… so I reluctantly conceded.
Later that evening she came to me and said: “I love this necklace because it symbolizes Jesus!”
“How does it symbolize Jesus?” I asked. The video below is how she responded, and I when I heard it, I was very glad that I’d gotten the necklace that was her heart’s desire…
Jesus is the Rock: Our Firm Foundation
Scripture points to Jesus as the firm foundation. Isaiah prophesies: Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. (Isaiah 28:16)
I’m particularly drawn to the fact that the foundation referred to here is “firmly placed.” When we think of a building project, the most important aspect is setting the foundation. A firm foundation is necessary to keep the building standing, but moreover, it is the foundation that keeps the building from moving due to the outside forces of nature. A building with a solid foundation will not be disturbed.
Jesus himself tells us that He and His words are a firm foundation for us. Life can be disturbing. The ground shakes under us. The rains fall and the floods rise. How can we be secure? Jesus tells us that He and His words are a firm foundation for those who believe.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Many of us know that old children’s song based on this passage from Matthew 7: The Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock! If I had to guess, this little song did the work of writing Matthew 7 on Gracie’s heart. She recently had a few weeks of “friend” troubles at school. I have been amazed at how well she has managed this situation. While her feelings were hurt, she was not shaken. In fact, one day in the midst of her “friend troubles” we were driving to school and I heard her whispering in the back seat.
“What are you talking about back there, buddy?” I asked.
“Oh, I am just saying verses to help me with my friends. Mama, these verses are REALLY helpful!” she said.
“Which ones are you saying?”
“I’m saying Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Romans 3:10 For there is no one who is righteous no not one and Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?and from Acts “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!” Verses are so, SO helpful…”
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. (Isaiah 28:16)
Jesus is that costly cornerstone. He raised up His words and laid down His life to be that firm foundation so that we might claim as the Psalmist does: “I have set the Lord always before me, because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken.”
Jesus is the Rock- our Firm foundation.
Jesus is the Pearl: He is Pure
As we approach Christmas, and look on the scene of Jesus’ birth, there is nothing with more purity and innocence than a new born child. Yet, as we follow Jesus’ life we see something that we see in no other life on earth. His was a matchless life, beautifully lived with purity and innocence sustained. The Gospels are full of testimony about the Pharisees and Sadducees desperately looking for a way to find fault in Jesus. Jesus himself asked them to show proof that he was guilty of any sin: “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.” (John 8:46-47) Even at Jesus’ trial Pilate admitted he could “find no fault” in him. Jesus lived the perfect sinless, matchless life. He lived the life we should have lived: pure. It is only because of his pure and matchless life that Jesus was able to lay down his life for us as the perfect sacrifice… the final sacrifice for all sin.
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
Jesus is the pearl, not only because he is pure, but also because his life is so valuable. He is the “costly cornerstone” and the greatest treasure. In Matthew Jesus says: Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46) Jesus is the “pearl of great price” who gave up his throne and paid it all to ransom us from sin and death. When we embrace that in our hearts our only response can be to sell out everything in order to gain Him. Jesus is pure. He is the pearl of great price.
Jesus is the Flower: He is the Resurrection
I love that in her thoughts of symbolism Gracie connected the resurrection of spring flowers with the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus actually compared his own life to that of a seed that is planted and “dies” and rises again. He said: Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John 12:24)
There is life, there is death, there is Resurrection and with that not just one, but many new lives!
Jesus said… “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. (John 11:25-26)
Jesus not only lived the life we should have lived, but died the death we should have died and conquered death with the victory of his resurrection. The beauty of this is beyond what we can imagine. Because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection; when we put our faith in Him we receive the same victory. This is illustrated in my favorite Psalm; The Confident promises of Psalm 16: 9-11
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices
My flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in [death],
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Jesus is the flower. He is the Resurrection.