This devotional was originally published on December 19, 2018.

Baking is an exact science, especially when you make pastry dough. Pastry gets its flakiness from the layers and layers of butter rolled out between layers and layers of dough, but the process to get to those layers is painstaking. The butter and water added to the dough must be extremely cold. The dough must be kneaded by hand for approximately seven minutes, depending on how hot or cold the kitchen is. Finally, it takes hours upon hours of chilling and layering the dough with butter, over and over again. This is the only way to create that flaky, buttery croissant.

God knew that once sin entered the world, there was only going to be one way to save his children. In fact, this was his plan from the beginning. He gave us the recipe for living a life worthy of him, the Law, which was given to Moses at the top of a mountain. Then, we humans mucked it up. We made idols. We lied. We stole. We killed. The law told us how to make amends for our shortcomings, but we couldn’t sacrifice enough doves or burn enough incense to cover all of the pain and sadness our sin created. Then, humans made rules for the rules. We still sinned. Sometimes God would even start things afresh, but we just seemed to mess it up. We sinned so often and so much that the only way to save humankind was through a perfect sacrifice.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
— John 3:16–17

God knew the exact moment to send his Son, Jesus, to Earth. Just like pastry dough, the Lord understood that our need for him had to be layered and layered between our love for him. Then our perfect God sent his perfect Son, Jesus, in the form of a baby.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
— Luke 2:11–12

Jesus experienced the pains and beauty of being fully human. He loved and laughed and cried and was tempted. Then, he willingly sacrificed himself. This perfect sacrifice covered every sinful thing that we would ever do for the rest of time on Earth.

The beautiful part is that we are still part of our godly Father’s recipe. He is still making layers of love out of our sin, and one day, we will get to reside with him in heaven.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
— Philippians 3:20–21

God’s timing is perfect, no one knows exactly the day that we will get to take up residence in our forever home. All I know is that my job is to allow God to continue to make me into the flakiest pastry dough, layer by layer.