A Season of Looking Back to Look Forward
Let’s all take a second, quiet our minds, close our eyes, and go back just over 2000 years to the time before Jesus manifested himself on earth as a precious little baby. What was life like back then? Let’s draw ourselves into the minds of the pious Jews, oppressed by the horrible Roman empire, longing for their Messiah to come to earth and free them from their oppression!
The Israelites were anticipatingly waiting. They knew that God was a God who kept his promises – always and forever! He had promised redemption for His people and they knew He would bring that promise to completion. These children of God had a holy hope. Their hope rested in a Savior who was coming to free them from their oppressors, restore their land, and rule over them with love. I don’t know if I would have responded any better than the majority of Israelites did when the Messiah they had been praying for finally arrived. He was nowhere near what they were expecting. Instead of a great warrior savior they got a baby. Instead of a king they got an infant, born in a dirty and stinky stable. Jesus entered the world like any other child – through the pains of labor – a labor to a teenage mother with no family or friends nearby to help her through it. He was born to a mother and an (adoptive) father who tried to raise him as best as they could. Shepherds – the outcasts of society – were the first to witness the glorious one who was to take away the sins of the world. The advent (or coming) of Jesus Christ was not what people expected. He didn’t come with sword blazing to destroy the darkness and create a new Jerusalem. He came to do things much quieter. He displayed His mercy, grace, and love as he allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross and killed to free everyone who accepts His offer of salvation from the bondage of our sinful natures. He rose from the dead to prove that He has ultimate power over death and the Devil. The season of advent needs to remind us of the future advent of Christ. He IS coming back! The hope that those Israelites so long ago were anticipating is yet to be completely fulfilled. We are waiting, just as anxiously as they were, for our Messiah to return. Like them, we know that our God is a God who keeps His promises. Our Savior WILL return! Whether or not Jesus returns during our lifetimes we need to be reflecting our Savior in a way that draws others to Him. We have joy in knowing that our sins are forgiven and an even greater joy in knowing that we will be spending eternity with our Lord in His coming kingdom! Jesus is coming back to wipe every tear from every eye. He is coming to heal the brokenhearted and free us from all our earthly pain. In Him our joy is complete. Your Turn:
What does the advent season mean to you?
How do you show your hope in Jesus’ future advent to those around you?