This shout of anticipation is the heart of Advent, the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
The weeks leading up to Christmas Day are a special time of reflection on God's gift to us: Jesus. Rejoicing in Jesus' birth certainly brings glory to God, but sometimes we can forget that God didn't just send a child into the world; He sent a mighty Rescuer!
A Child in a Manger
The image of the Child in the manger should fill our hearts with praise because we know what that Child would grow up to accomplish—He would save His people from their sins.
This story is not just for those of us who live after Jesus' time, though. The people of God have always known what Jesus' mission would be. How did they know about this divine rescue plan before Jesus actually came? Because God promised the whole plan to them, and every single part of it was designed to become true in Jesus.
No, God didn't just promise His people that a miracle child would be born. He also promised that this Child would grow up to be the loving Shepherd of His people, the place-switching Sacrifice, the resurrected Lord, and the righteous King who reigns in glory forever. But there is yet another promise: this King is coming back for His people!
The Old Testament passages point to Jesus, collectively unfolding the promises of His long-awaited coming, His marvelous birth, His blameless life, His agonizing death, His glorious resurrection and His reign as the eternal King of all.
Anticipating the Second Advent
As we celebrate the first coming of the Expected One during Advent, let's also look forward in hopeful anticipation of His second coming. Let's keep in mind the whole picture of who Jesus is, worshipping Him as the fulfillment of all of God's promises to us, "For every one of God's promises is ‘Yes' in Him" (2 Corinthians 1:20 HCSB).
Read this devotional from The Expected One:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
Although His perfect creation had just been corrupted by the arrival of sin, God promised that sin and Satan would not have the final victory. The Rescuer would come to crush Satan, ending his rebellion against God. His people may have been under the curse of sin, but God promised them that He would fight for them and win them back to Himself.
- Enmity means that two things are against each other. What set God and Satan against each other? (Satan turned against God and then tempted man to do the same.)
- Who does this verse say will defeat Satan in the end? (The offspring of woman-this points to Jesus.)
- How does it make you feel knowing that God has already written the end of the story? (It gives us confidence that God is in control.)
- Christ is our great Victor, defeating an enemy that we never could. Knowing that He intercedes on our behalf, meditate on what this means to you.
This article is excerpted from The Expected One by Scott James. Copyright 2014 B&H Publishing Group.
The Expected One brings to light the many promises of Christ—from birth to ascension—that demonstrate His love for us during the Advent season. These daily devotions, which are designed for both family and individual use, are timeless and moving reminders of the true gift of Christmas.