Advent of the Messiah
Christmas is traditionally a celebration of the first coming of Jesus the Messiah, when he came as a baby in Bethlehem. This coming was to deal with our sin, and it led to the the Messiah’s death on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. It is good, however, not to ignore the promise of his second coming. The second coming of the Messiah will be very different than the first. It will not be to deal with sin (Heb 9:28), but to rule the world in righteousness. This second advent is described by the prophet Isaiah. The Messiah, Isaiah says, will be the shoot that springs forth from the stem of Jesse, the fruitful branch that comes from his roots. He will judge the poor and the afflicted with righteousness. Even the corruptness of nature will be overturned. “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Also, the cow and the bear will graze; their young will lie down together; and the lion will eat straw like the ox” (Isa 11:6-7). For those who have made peace with God through Christ this will be a glorious day. For his enemies, it will mark the end. As we celebrate this Christmas season, remember that his first coming will be followed by a second coming that is very different. Consider these things while there is still time!