On yesterday, we lit the pink candle of joy for Advent. Joy after years of waiting, and waiting, and waiting…expecting, expecting, expecting the manifestation of God’s promise. A promise that goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) and repeated time and time again by God Himself throughout Scripture. The promise of the Messiah.
The first two weeks of Advent is symbolic of the hope of this Messiah and the peace with God and of God that is yet needed for this Messiah not come. It has been 400 hundred years since the Lord there has been any inspired prophecy from God to the Jews. The last prophecy was given at the close of the Old Testament when He had given this warning to the prophet, Malachi, “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”(Malachi 4:5-6).
Four hundred years and no word from the Lord and yet history marches on. So much has occurred that it is greater than can be included on this page. The Jews have been dominated by Persia, several wars have been fought, a smaller temple has been rebuilt (a couple of times)…when we open the pages of the New Testament, we find that they are under Roman domination. Herod is now on the throne and things have gone downhill as not even their priests were as God had instructed. Instead of being from the line of Aaron, they are Herod’s political appointments.
Yes, there are plenty of reasons that the Jews and and all the world should experience joy when in God’s appointed time the angel Gabriel started making rounds. To Zechariah, to Mary, to Joseph, to Shepherds…’do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard, greetings, you are highly favored, tidings of great joy’…“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” ““The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” Luke 2 | Matthew 1
These announcements were for all mankind for every man is in need of a Savior.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:27-28
What about you?