What I did not steal, I then have to restore. (Psalm 69:4, NASB)
Some years ago, Lieutenant Lloyd Prescott, a deputy of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department, was conducting a class for police officers at the Salt Lake City Library. When he saw a gunman take eighteen people hostage and lead them into a room at the library, the deputy sneaked in among the hostages. Lieutenant Prescott became the last hostage by blending in, walking in the room, and closing the door behind him. Thankfully, the deputy neutralized the situation after several hours, and all the hostages were freed unharmed.
The deputy didn’t cause the mess. It wasn’t his fault or his problem, yet he willingly entered the room to rescue the people and restore peace.
In Psalm 69:4, King David prophesied the coming of his greater Son, the Messiah, who will restore what He did not steal. At His birth, Jesus fulfilled this prophecy when He willingly came into the room with us. He voluntarily entered into our desperate condition. He came as one of us, restoring what He did not take, cleaning up a mess He didn’t make, and delivering those who were taken hostage by sin.
What had been stolen from us? Our freedom. Our innocence. Our peace. Our fellowship with God. Praise God! The Restorer and Rescuer has come to do for us what we could never do for ourselves.
As John Gill says, “He satisfied justice he had never injured, though others had; he fulfilled a law, and bore the penalty of it, which he never broke; and made satisfaction for sins he never committed; and brought in a righteousness he had not taken away.”
Christmas is about restoration and rescue for sinful people provided through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We anxiously await His coming again when everything that was lost will be restored and fully realized through the One who came into the room with us that first Christmas.