This past Sunday evening marked the beginning of ‘Advent’ observance. Many traditions choose to disregard this ‘Catholic’ holiday, however I am always inclined to mine these traditions for ways they can speak to us today and further our discipleship.
Advent highlights the the time we wait anticipating our celebration of Christmas. Again, I am familiar with the various discussions regarding the traditions- both the interdenominational discussions as well as the seeming pagan assertions- that is not the point here.
As I mine the tradition, I am reminded of the 400 years that Israel suffered a famine of the word from the time of the prophet Malachi to the birth of Jesus Christ – as the prophets remarked, “The consolation of Israel” as well as the “redemption of Jerusalem”.
The birth of the Messiah marks the fulfillment of God’s promise in the midst of man’s sin. Going back to the Garden story of the early chapters of Genesis, where we read about the ‘fall from grace’ that Adam and Eve suffered, we come to realize that noting Genesis 3:15, “.. God did not leave them without hope. God buried a promise in the curse. At some time, a Redeemer would rise up and crush evil, even though the embodiment of evil, Satan, would first strike the Redeemer’s heal”. – excerpt from The Promise of Christmas, RBC pamphlet
“For thousands of years the Jews had talked about God’s promised Redeemer. They had the words of the prophets and knew that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem. They knew He would be born to a woman who was a virgin. They knew He would be born to a descendant of King David. Someday He would come…”
I took some time to look up what ancient rabbi’s as well as what the ancient Jewish Targums had to say about Genesis 3:15, ultimately the fulfillment of the “mystery of the Ages”. One Targum mentioned that, ““The things which God created perfect since man sinned have become corrupt and do not return to their proper condition until the son of Perez (i.e. according to Gen. xxxviii. 29, Ruth iv. 18 ff. the Messiah out of the tribe of Judah) comes.”
See this link for more information on the rabbi’s and targums, http://www.hadavar.org/CriticalIssues/Genesis_3_RabbinicSupport.html
As we conclude to our current year-long series of going through the whole Bible at Blue Point Bible Church, we have come to understand the “hope of Israel” and how the details of Revelation are explaining Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of Israel’s long awaited hope. Ultimately, the details of the ‘Book of Revelation’ are how Jesus Christ would be revealed in glory and judgment against that wicked generation and system of worship that failed to worship God in Spirit and in Truth (see, John 4:24).
What is revealed through the Messiah is that what was impossible for man, is possible with God. Man could never be righteous, yet God could accomplish righteousness and bring the Church into that reality.
This past Sunday I preached about how the Old Covenant failed to display the ‘righteousness’ (or to use Deuteronomy chapter 4- they failed to be the “wisdom” and “understanding” of God), and I admonished each of us to “walk worthy” of what we have in Christ Jesus.
Join us this Advent season, on Saturday evenings at Blue Point Bible Church, as we go through Mark Batterson’s book, IF, allowing his insights to encourage us to live faithfully in regards to all that God calls us to be…and conclude with a Christmas Eve service that will inspire and challenge you in regards to the reality we know in Jesus Christ – “God With Us”.
Saturdays – 12/5; 12/12/; 12/19 @ 7PM
Christmas Eve Service – @ 7PM
Be Inspired to Live For His Glory This Season!
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Michael Miano