For most denominational Churches this past Sunday, December 3rd, marked the beginning of a season in the Church year that we call Advent. Advent means coming or visitation; it is with this thought in mind that Church folk today celebrate the season of the birth of Jesus into this world; the coming of the Christ child.
For the purpose of this writing let us begin with the first Messianic prophecy; Genesis 3:15; And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel. (NKJV) A prophecy (promise) by God’s word that a Savior to bruise the head of Satan was coming; this thread continues in the Old Testament, growing stronger as it goes. In Isaiah He begins to take on a personality; in 7:14 He is called Immanuel; He is spoken of in these words in 9:6; For unto us a Child is born, a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. The promise of Genesis 3:15 has become a person; a God with a personality. The biblical Scholars (even before there was a Bible) had searched the available Scripture looking for corroboration of these prophetic verses; but looking not as curious students of Scripture; rather I believe, out of a deeply held sense of hope for the better day coming when the Savior would appear to set things right. In the last 700 years BC; there are literally dozens of passages that speak to His coming; naming even the place and time with clarity and promise.
I find it quite interesting that the first Advent candle is called the Hope candle; interesting because the season of Advent is about nothing if it is not about Hope, the hope of salvation; Jesus is the hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find; and for those of us who love and trust Him; my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. Indeed the season of Hope begins in Genesis and continues through God’s word until John’s last Amen. It has been there all along and hindsight makes it all the more clear; Noah worked for 100 years on the Ark eventually seeing his hope fulfilled.
It was hope that kept the Prophets at their task; and hope that drove the prophetess Anna and the man Simeon to wait for the child Jesus to be presented to the Lord (Luke 2:25-38).
It was the promise (hope) of a Savior that drove the Old Testament faithful; and it is the hope of a returning Savior that drives the Church today; Christ has come, Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again! For two thousand years we have been in the second Advent season; the second season of Hope. Let us not forget that the world awaits His imminent return as we are; looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Titus 2:13.
“I can almost hear the Trumpet”