“We wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13
Advent is traditionally the time that we prepare our hearts for Christmas – the coming of the Christ Child, the Infant Messiah, the Son of God who became the son of Mary. Now, on this side of the manger and the cross, we are still preparing for the coming of Christ – but not as a helpless baby. Today we have the awesome hope of the Lord’s return when Jesus Christ will come in the fullness of His deity, “as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!” (Rev. 19:16).
In Jesus’ day, the Jewish people watched and waited in hope for the promised Messiah, who would break the power of their enemy and set God’s people free. This Anointed One came, not as a great warrior or ruler as they expected, but as a wee baby, every bit as helpless, it appeared, to overcome the enemy as the people He came to save. He came in humility “taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:7). The star shone in the sky and the angels sang their praises when God entered this world. But the vast majority of Jews missed the humble coming of their Messiah. Certainly the religious leaders who should have recognized Him failed to see Him for who He was. He lived and grew up and ministered in their midst, but their eyes were blinded to His true identity.
In the world we live in today, people still fail to believe that Jesus Christ is the Hope for all mankind. Or perhaps they refuse to believe. Like the Jewish people, our world is oblivious to the light of Christ and the praises that are proclaimed by those who know Him.
But there is coming a day – a great and glorious day – when Jesus Christ will come again. At His ascension, the angels told His disciples, “Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). And this time, when He comes, no one will miss it or be able to deny Him. Jesus told His disciples, “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27). He will not come to a quiet and humble stable – He will come “with power and great glory”! 1 John 3:2 proclaims “when He appears…we shall see Him as He is.” Paul adds to this picture: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10-11). When Jesus comes again, the whole world will see Him for who He is. Paul says that every knee will bow and every tongue confess – even those who had refused to bow in worship and confess His name. The world will be overwhelmed by His presence and overcome with awe at His glory and majesty.
Oh my friend, what a day – what a grand and glorious day that will be for all who believe, for those who have made a practice of bowing their knee and have savored the sweet taste of His name on their lips. Our hearts will be filled with joy and adoration for our Savior. If you belong to Christ, you have the great hope that Jesus will return as He promised, and He will bring you, His beloved child home.
As we prepare for the Christmas season, let us make ready our hearts – both for the coming of the Christ Child and the coming of our great and victorious Savior and King!
Read Philippians 2:5-11