An Advent story
Today our topic is an Advent message: What happened to the baby in the manger?
Advent, (Latin adventus, “coming”) in the Christian church calendar, is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas and of preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. In Western churches, Advent begins on the Sunday nearest to November 30 and then runs for a total of 4 full weeks of Sundays. In 2023 advent starts a four-week observation beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, which began on December 3 this year and will finish on Sunday the 24th of December.
The Advent Season is all about reflecting on how we can prepare our hearts and homes for Christ's birth in the world as it is today. It is a time for faith communities and families to remember, through prayer, reflections, special music, and charitable deeds what the true meaning of Jesus' birth is.
At this time of year many people think of the baby in the manger, and it is good to reflect on the beautiful story of the nativity.
However, Jesus Christ did not remain a baby but became the mighty King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Saviour of the world, and the Bridegroom of his church.
So often we can focus in on the wonderful meekness and humility of Jesus (the suffering servant of Isaiah 53; the crucified Messiah) and yet neglect His power and majesty as the mighty conquering King!
Through the blood of the cross He defeated him who had the power over death and having risen entered the holy of holies and presented once and for all His holy sinless blood on the mercy seat as a propitiation (turned away God's wrath) for the sin of man.
We are now going to consider Jesus Christ as the conquering hero.
Psalm 45 is a didactic psalm i.e. Maschil is a psalm that teaches us (about the power and majesty of God). This is a delightful psalm bursting with royalty and nobility, power, and majesty. This is about the Messiah. The first part of the psalm is about Jesus the conquering hero (vv.3-6) and the second part about Jesus the Bridegroom (vv.9-14) see link below for the second part.
3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth, meekness, and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach these terrible things.
5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.
6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
v.3 Get ready for battle with the sword of the spirit, for the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. In the wilderness Jesus defeated Satan with the word of God and at the end of time He will destroy His enemies with the breath of His mouth. O most mighty, there never was anyone else who was able or worthy to this title, the one who defeated Satan, death, and hell by His death on the cruel cross and now has the keys of death and hell. O most mighty Jesus Christ. The Lamb of God is the only one worthy to open the scroll in the book of revelation.
v.4 When Jesus preached the Gospel He rode on the Word of Truth and meekness and righteousness not only proclaiming these but living them out before the very eyes of men. The glorious eternal Gospel was His chariot to bring salvation to fallen man. The Gospel prospered, turning certain peoples’ worlds the right way up! Jesus at the right hand of God brings salvation to the humble but a terrible and everlasting condemnation to the unrepentant wicked. There is no hiding place from the Son of God.
v.5 His words are arrows and never miss the mark! No one can stand against Him and survive. We are also His arrows in His quiver for he fires us out at the lost so that as we preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ by His spirit, he pierces their hearts with conviction of sin of righteousness and judgement! Some enemies fall convicted leading to salvation others refusing to repent to eternal condemnation. We were once His enemies but now are of His royal household!
v.6 This most mighty warrior is none other than God Himself, God the Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal word made flesh, He who was in the beginning was the eternal Word and was with God and was God. It is Him who has an eternal throne not like any earthly king but a divine and everlasting Kingship. Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Praise his holy name. he who was once a babe in a manger shall rule the nations with a rod of iron.
His rule, His sceptre is the only right and lawful rule that is fitting to stand for eternity.
Soon He is coming for his bride. Even so come Lord Jesus. Amen
That same baby in the manger is now the risen Lord, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
Therefore the Christmas story is so very wonderful. Amen.