IS ADVENT ON YOUR CALENDAR?
‘For unto us a child is born….of the increase of His government there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His Kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this.’ [Isaiah 9:6-7]
In the verses above we see 2 advents! The first when the child was born and when Christ was incarnated in to the body of Jesus. The second advent of Christ is yet to be and when the victorious King of kings and Lord of lords returns to earth as foretold in the Bible to establish His millennial and eternal Kingdom on earth, and which is over 2000 years nearer now! Despite all the clues God gave His people [the Jews] in the Torah, many missed or misunderstood this first advent. Jesus was not what they expected. He was ordinary, though born through extraordinary events, yet folk still missed the meaning of the scriptures.
The scriptures teach that the Messiah would be humble and born in Bethlehem and that He would be born in ordinary circumstances through extraordinary interventions! They taught that He would suffer, and they clearly taught His style of death! They teach that a friend for thirty silver coins would betray him and that His body would not see corruption. And yet they clearly teach also that he would be Mighty and victorious. That He would come to earth on a white horse with a mighty army to destroy God’s enemies! These scriptures and many more were there for the people of God to search out and see what was the will of God for His Messiah and His first advent! So how did so many miss it? And especially those who should’ve known [the religious leaders] who could then have taught the people!
- Well, for one thing, I believe that they wanted a glorious and victorious Messiah! They could not understand how the prophets could get the promised glorious Messiah mixed up with this so-called suffering servant of God! Even Isaiah expressed disbelief when inspired to write the 53rd chapter of his book! ‘Who has believed our message?’ [Isaiah 53:1]
- I believe they saw what they thought was a contradiction instead of what seems to me to be a paradoxical contrast! So they kept the notion of a victorious Messiah on a white horse and rejected the humble servant riding on a donkey, it suited their purposes! And even after 3 years of being with Jesus, the disciples still thought Jesus was going to ride victorious in to Jerusalem and conquer the Roman armies!
- The Jews had a diluted understanding of prophesy! They thought a prophecy had only one fulfilment, when in truth most have many fulfilments! Prophecy is like a range of mountain! You get to the top of one peak only to realise there are even greater ones ahead and you have to pass through the valley before you climb the next! This can keep going on for quite a while! For example, Antiochus Epiphanies was a type of anti-Christ! But so too were many of the Caesars, and so too was Adolph Hitler, but they all point to one final anti-Christ who will embody all of them and will be as evil as all the others put together. And so, prophesy spoke of one Messiah, but two separate advents! This flummoxed the Jews and so, many missed Him and the Jews as a nation rejected Him.
So, what does this all mean to us? Well over the last few days of this Christmas period, I would like to see if we are all ready for the second advent of Christ! Will we be caught off guard, as were the Jews? What will it mean to us if we are not ready? How can we prepare now in readiness for then? And does it really matter!
PRAYER Abba, Father. I am amazed every time that I ponder how reckless your people were with regards to the Holy Scriptures. Then to my shame I realise I am little different. Please Holy Spirit, help me to search the Bible, help me to apply it and please help me to prepare and be ready for Christ’s return for me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.