Look! I'm sending my messenger on ahead to clear the way for me. Suddenly, out of the blue, the Leader you've been looking for will enter his Temple- yes, the Messenger of the Covenant, the one you've been waiting for. Look! He's on his way!
We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried- our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sinds that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him- our sins! He took the punishment and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.
I think of the countless years that the OT prophets waited and watched for the arrival of their Saviour. I'm sure they had many expectations and hopes for this man, but how many expected this? I love how Jesus constantly blows us out of the water with the unexpected, the unconventional, the absolute unthinkable. From his birth to his life, his death to his resurrection, nothing fit their expectations. We look back now and just want to shake those folks into reality... "Can't you see the bigger picture? The insanely awesome big picture?"
Yeah... that's how he's working in our lives right now.
Your throne is God's throne, ever and always; the scepter of your royal rule measures right living. You love the right and hate the wrong. And that is why God, your very own God, poured fragrant oil on your head, marking you out as king from among your dear companions.
Another advent verse from the Old Testament. This scripure is repeated in the New Testament.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
For to which of the angels did God ever say,“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again,“I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,“Let all God's angels worship him.” Of the angels he says,“He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.” But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
I love how threads of Christ run so clearly through the Old Testament. When we begin to read it through the lens of Jesus, it becomes one continuous story... rather than a disjointed "before and after".
This plan... to save us before we even knew we needed saving... incredible!
Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
How are we recipients of this promise to Abraham? By simply believing in him(as Abraham did), God views us as righteous. This glorious day is ushered in by a baby, born in a smelly stable.
This is the brand new covenant that I will make with Israel when the time comes- I will put my law within them- write it on their hearts!- and be their God. And they will be my people. They will no longer go around setting up schools to teach each other about God. They'll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I'll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I'll forget they ever sinned! God's Decree.
I believe this is a very big part of the freedom that God gives us in him- as we grow to know him more personally, he brands his ways on our hearts. No longer must I refer to a mental or physical list of "how to be a Christian". His Spirit stirs change in the obscure corners of my heart, to the point that I hardly notice until I find myself acting or reacting in a very unKatie-like way.
I believe he comes, grows, and abides in us in much the same way as he came, grew, and left a Comforter here on this earth.... quietly, personally, gently yet powerfully and most of all- undeniably.
Isaiah 61:3 ...to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Psalms 18: 16 & 19 But me he caught- reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning...He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved- surprised to be loved!