Advent November 28, 2010
My goal in this first week of advent is to capture the anticipation of the Lord’s coming as intended by the text of Scripture.
Christmas is a celebration of the Lord Jesus’ first coming. The people were waiting for the coming Messiah, but would miss the intention of his first coming as a sacrifice for sin because they were looking for his global reign first.
To be sure, they understood rightly that the King would rule the nations, but they missed that the Law was not intended to save but to reveal their sin and need for a savior.
The Lord’s first coming made salvation possible for all who would believe.
The Lord’s second coming will bring all nations in subjection to him and he will rule the nations in strength and in peace for a thousand years before the full end of Satan and sin and the full restoration of all creation.
The first coming of the Lord has happened and we enjoy salvation by grace through faith in Jesus.
The second coming is still in front of us and we look forward to his coming.
There are many things that draw our attention away from this coming day. Our senses are often dulled by many sedations, but we must fight to be free of those sedations and keep in our vision the coming of the King to rule so that all eyes see him.
We look forward to his coming because all nations do not acknowledge the King as King.
As a result the King’s people are not, on a global scale, honored or respected but persecuted or marginalized, and some of that marginalization is by our own doing and some is by the hatred of evil men for the only real King, Jesus.
Injustice seems to be the norm, and constant war and rumors of war abound.
But, we anticipate the day when the Lord Jesus will return and complete the mission.
Isaiah 2:1-5 is a passage pregnant with this anticipation of the Lord’s coming to be the chief above all chiefs, teach the nations his ways, judge in justice between the nations and rule in peace.
“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many people shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD.”
(Isaiah 2:1-5 ESV)
1. Isaiah 2:1-5 is a prophetic prediction of the coming work of Jesus as the recognized King over all creation
A. All Scripture Predicts (prophecies, Messianic Psalms, etc.) Christ’s person and/or work.
B. All Scripture Prepares for (dead ends and bridges) Christ’s person and work.
C. All Scripture Reflects Christ’s person and work.
D. All Scripture Results from (boldness, access, justification) Christ’s person and work.
2. Jesus’ work in coming, dying, rising and preparing to come again will save people from all nations v. 2
I’m using the language “preparing to come again” to represent the work of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, to take the Gospel and build the people of God globally.
A. Daniel 2:35 is from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and in that dream a stone is
cut out and strikes the great image and becomes a great mountain and fills
the whole earth, and makes a kingdom that fills the whole earth (2:35, 45).
1. Jesus is, perhaps, that mountain that is lifted up and “established as
the highest of mountains…”
“…the temple on Mount Moriah: type of the Gospel, beginning at Jerusalem, and, like an object set on the highest hill, made so conspicuous that all nations are attracted to it.”
B. The lifting up of Mount Moriah, or Jerusalem, points to the lifting up of
the Son of Man
1. John 12:32
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
a. The same verb is used here as in the LXX in Is 2:2 “lifted up”.
C. Jesus is, and will be recognized, as the “chief”, the “head” of the nations
1. Is 2:2 says that this “mountain” will be the “highest”. The word
used there is “rosh” which means “chief” or “head”.
3. Jesus will teach people his “ways” as they come to him v. 3
The implication of the people wanting to go up to the “mountain of the Lord” is that the Lord is there teaching. The mountain is not the point; it’s who is enthroned on the mountain.
A. The day will come when Jesus is sought out for teaching his ways
B. The day will come when Jesus proclaims the “law” from Jerusalem
1. The word “torah” is used here and properly translated “law”.
Jesus is not going to reinstate the law, but I believe the point here is that Jesus is going to teach the “torah” and show us how it is a constant pointer to his person and work.
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
(Luke 24:44-47 ESV)
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…”
(John 5:39 ESV)
The Law was our guardian to lead us to the Gospel so that we could be adopted as children. Note the use of the language “guardian” or “fostered” shifts to “adopted” in chapter 4. The Law held us and revealed sin by showing God’s holiness and then he sent the Messiah to adopted us as children.
4. Jesus will bring justice and peace v. 4
A. Trust in Jesus, as Prophet, Priest and King will be the norm in the Kingdom
As a side note, this passage is looking toward the millennial Kingdom and not the final Kingdom, so there will be disputes and reasons for settling those disputes, and when they arise they will not seek a court’s intervention, because Justice itself will be present in the author of Justice.
“As king and ultimate judge of the universe, (Jesus) God will help these nations settle their differences and will remove the reasons for war. There will be no need for swords to kill people, so a marvelous reign of peace will begin. This was quite the opposite of Uzziah’s impressive efforts to prepare for and carry out several wars against neighboring states (2 Chr 26:6–15). All war preparations can end when people focus on (Jesus) God, who is the true source of their security.”
Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. When the nations flow to Jesus for justice and peace Jesus will be greatly glorified.
5. Come and anticipate this great day! v. 5
My invitation to you this Advent season is this: come, anticipate the coming rule of King Jesus on this earth. Fight against any attempt by the world (system of lies contrary to the Gospel), your flesh (sinful tendencies still being rooted out by the Gospel) and the devil (hater of your soul, liar and father of lies) to dull your senses to the coming rule of King Jesus.
Use this Advent season to sharper your desire for the coming King!