Long Expected Jesus

The people had been told for centuries that someone was coming to be their Savior. This was a promise and a prophecy that had yet to be fulfilled. The promise was for a new covenant that would replace the laws. This covenant would put in place the salvation of sins. Because this promised Messiah would die in their place. For their sins. He was to be the Savior of the world.

The Scriptures told details of the promised Messiah. He would be born of a woman. She would be a virgin giving birth to a baby. An assumed impossibility. This baby would be born in Bethlehem. He would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Judah. He was in line to sit on the throne of King David. Yet his reign would be eternal. He would be called Immanuel.

And so they waited.

Once he was born, some recognized the significance of his birth. Angels announced his arrival to shepherds. But life was not without risk for this newborn. Magi had told King Herod that an heir to the throne of David had been born, and they had come from a distant land to worship him. Herod knew his reign and legacy were at risk. So he had to act quick. This is when he ruled all boys aged two and under must be eliminated.

After the Magi’s visit, the family escaped to Egypt to avoid being discovered. Joseph had been warned in a dream to move, in order to save the life of the One who would die to save us from our sins.

Oh. But trouble continued to follow this man, Jesus. He didn’t ask for trouble. He came to bring peace. But a messenger would come before him to pave the way. This forerunner’s message would open the hearts of the hearers in preparation for the message of the Promised One. This Messiah, a prophet nonetheless, would be rejected by his own people. They would plot and plan ways to be rid of him. They would falsely accuse him. The religious leaders tried to trick him, but they failed at every turn. He outsmarted each and every attempt. At times, he just remained silent. Let them look the fools they were. After all, he was God in human form. Did they not realize it?

Oh. He bore our sins on the cross and suffered in our place. He bled and died so that we would have eternal life, if only we accept him as Lord and Savior of our lives.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. Isaiah 9:6-7

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Charles Wesley

There were many prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in his lifetime. Some have yet to be accomplished. Because Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection weren’t the only prophecies. After his resurrection from the dead, he ascended to heaven to take his place at the right hand of God the Father. He will fulfill another prophecy by returning to take his people home. His return will break the eastern sky and draw all believers to heaven. So, we’re once again waiting for Jesus. We’re waiting for his return.

And now this world of weary believers is asking for Jesus to come once again. He fulfilled the first promise of coming as a man to save the lost. He has fulfilled the promised covenant. For we all are lost and in need of a Savior.  Now please do it again. Come to take your people home. We long for eternity with King Jesus. 

We await the wedding feast that he is preparing for us, his bride. Those who are invited to the wedding feast are called blessed. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. May his name be praised.

Oh, come thou long expected Jesus.

He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:14

Behold Your King

This year has been both brutal and wonderful all at the same time. Poor combination of adjectives, you say? Yes, it’s been brutal. The entire world has struggled to make sense of a virus that has devastated so many lives in so many ways. And it still isn’t over. Is the end in sight? Only time will tell. Yes, this year has even been wonderful. God is working among us. He is here with us. In the midst of all this chaos, God is right here. He sees our hurts and our longings. He knows our dreams and our plans. God is a giver of life and hope. He gives good things and allows tests and trials to come upon us. But he is with us.

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger.

Think about it. God knows our need before we mention it to him. He knows our need even if we don’t tell him. He knows our need even if we deny his existence. He knows our need. He always knows our need. God sees everyone who is struggling. And if there’s been a year to struggle, this is it. There’s no denying that.

God is no stranger to our weakness. He sees our hurts and flaws. He is so familiar with our struggles and our needs. He sees it all. He calls us to shelter under the wing of his strength and righteousness. We can boast in our weakness, so the power of Christ can work through us.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Isaiah 40:29

This season is bittersweet for some. Previous disappointments and struggles are reminders of what we’ve lost. Unfulfilled dreams point the finger of failure. It seems that we spend so much of our time focusing on our fears, that we forget to look for hope.  Our strength is in the Lord. Let’s relax in that thought for a second.

Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” Isaiah 35:4

Oh. Anxious heart. Be not fearful, because he holds you in the palm of his hand. He leads the way when the path is bumpy and unpaved. He knows your name. He knew you before he formed you in your mother’s womb. In your darkest hour of need, our heavenly Father is right by your side. He paves the way when there is no way. He is the lover of your soul. So stand strong. Be courageous. Be willing to fight the enemy as he advances. Resist evil.

Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us! 2 Chronicles 32:7-8

Why do we tremble before the enemy of our soul? Why do we doubt the God we serve? Our God is mightier and stronger than the devil’s schemes. The enemy is out to bring us down with his disguise of self centeredness. Let’s not focus on ourselves. Let’s focus on the One who saves our souls. The One who gave his life for our sins. He is the Savior of the world. Let’s not be tricked by the enemy. The Lord is on our side. Oh. The enemy of our soul has an army fighting against us. But the lover of our soul fights for us. His truth will stand. We need only to be still. He will prevail.