In celebrating advent, we will be looking back into history some 2000 years ago to the events of the first coming of Jesus Christ to earth. The definition of advent is: “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event”. When God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, chose to visit earth as a baby boy I would say to you that this was indeed a notable event! In this newsletter article we will see that the idea of Christ came into the collective mind of God’s Old Testament people through types and prophecies and that eventually these were fulfilled when He was born in Bethlehem. We will also see that during the church age Christ continues to come in salvation to individuals who repent and confess Him as Lord, and that the window of Christ’s saving work will remain open until He returns again to earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The Coming of Christ through Types and Prophecy:
It is possible to find Christ throughout the pages of the Old Testament. Early on in human history, in Genesis 3:15, we see that God promised victory over evil through a Savior who was yet to come. We find Christ represented as the Passover lamb of the exodus and as the High Priest of the tabernacle. In Isaiah 7 we see Jesus described as Immanuel, which means God with Us. In Isaiah 9 we see Jesus described as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. In Isaiah 42 we find Jesus described as the Servant of the Lord. In Isaiah 52-53 we find Jesus described as the suffering servant who will willingly lay down His life for His people. In Micah 5 we find Jesus described as the Ruler in Israel. In these types and prophecies Jesus did not come bodily to earth, however the concept of a Messiah came into the minds of the nation of Israel, and this Messianic hope would eventually be fulfilled in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Coming of Christ through Law, Atonement and Resurrection:
The next coming of Christ to earth was indeed bodily. A little baby, born in Bethlehem, laying in a manger. Wise men came to visit him, bringing gifts worthy of a king. This coming fulfills many of the Old Testament types and prophecies. Jesus came for a single overarching divine purpose and that was to save His people from their sins. In order to accomplish this purpose, Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law of God in both word and deed. However, He didn’t stop there. Seeing as sin can be defined as lawlessness, Jesus made atonement, shedding His blood at the cross, for lawbreakers like you and me. Therefore, a pathway was created for sinful men and women to return to a Holy God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. To top all of this off, Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day. This was Almighty God’s stamp of approval set upon His Son’s atoning death. The resurrection of Jesus Christ provides assurance that victory over death is possible for those who place their faith in Jesus.
The Coming of Christ in Personal Salvation:
The next coming of Christ that we will discuss is spiritual in nature. It is when Christ comes into a person’s life when they receive Him as Lord and Savior. Surely this work of salvation begins with a mighty work of the Spirit of God, convicting a person of their sins, and their need for a Savior. When a person hears this Gospel call and responds in repentance and faith to God’s Word, then he or she becomes a new creation in Christ. At that moment they are incorporated into the living Body of Christ, the Church, by the working of the Holy Spirit. This is not a physical body, but instead, the living spiritual presence of Christ, working out His purposes on earth through His people. This coming of Christ is very real, and it is certainly a true statement that wise men and women still seek Him. This call to salvation will continue for as long as God wills that the church age should continue. We are to be Great Commission Christians, extending this Gospel call to every tribe and tongue until the day that our Lord returns for His church.
The Coming of Christ as King of Kings and Lord or Lords:
There are some prophecies found in both the Old and New Testaments that point forward to yet another coming of Christ, what we refer to as His second coming to earth. This final coming of Christ will be bodily in nature. He will return to earth one day as divine Sovereign to fully claim that which has rightly belonged to Him all along. The role of the devil, and all who follow him, as usurper will be overthrown. We who are God’s children through the new birth will reign with Christ for 1000 years upon this earth. After this earth passes away, we will live with our God and Savior for all of eternity in the newly created heavens and earth. Christ will come again one day to consummate the holy union that exists between Himself and His bride, the church. We look forward, with longing, for this day when sin will be no more, and the reign of terror that Satan has inflicted upon the earth will come to an end.
In conclusion, when we look back into history we see types, prophecy, and the birth of a little baby in a manger. When we look forward into the future, we see that this little baby, who was typed and prophesied in the pages of the Old Testament, will come again as King of Kings and Lord or Lords. We will experience the coronation of the rightful king, Jesus, as He will be seated upon the eternal messianic throne promised to David. For now, we must remain busy fulfilling the Great Commission by extending the offer of eternal salvation to whosoever will come. No matter whether we look back or forward, let us be mindful of the fact that there is always hope and salvation to be found in the name and person of Jesus. Today is the day of salvation. Would we heed His call? Merry Christmas!
Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,