This is the second of four messages in our Advent devotional series, which will lead up to Christmas Day. My hope and prayer is that you and I might experience afresh the passion and power of waiting on God during these last few days before we celebrate Christmas.
In the previous message, we looked at what Advent is in the life of the Christian. Today I’d like to offer a word of encouragement that just may surprise you. We will take a brief look at what “The Why” of Advent was not . . . and then what it was.
- What It Was Not
It was not SIN!
As a pastor who labors to point people to Jesus each week, I consistently emphasize the point that you and I are sinners in need of a Savior.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Adam was the federal head of all humanity, perfectly created by God for this privilege. When he fell, we all fell, and all of humanity became wicked sinners who could only be redeemed by a spotless Savior. As The New England Primer, America’s first public school textbook, taught children for more than 200 years, “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.”
But sin could not possibly have been the primary “Why” of Advent, because sin was already in the world. In Isaiah’s and Ezekiel’s references to the kings of Babylon and Tyre, we see Adam’s fall symbolically described . . . and we also see references to the malevolent spiritual power lurking behind the kings of those two cities: Satan.
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.
Here we are given a glimpse behind the veil of heaven, and we see the fall of Lucifer and the sin that was in this world before the first sin of man. Jesus spoke of this in Luke 10:18 when He said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
If sin was “The Why” of Advent, God would have sent Jesus to redeem the fallen angels, but that was not the purpose for His coming. The writer of Hebrews explicitly confirms this truth:
Surely it is not angels [Jesus] helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
So, if sin was not “The Why,” then what was?
- What It Was
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
God came after fallen and sinful man; the reason is located in the heart of God and His love for man: a special love . . . a redeeming love . . . a love purchased by His beloved Son on a cross so that we could be the spouse of the Son—the bride of the Bridegroom!
And that is why everything works toward your salvation. God so loved you that, if you have trusted in Christ’s redeeming work on your behalf, God is working every circumstance of life (the good, the bad, and the ugly) for your eternal good (Romans 8:28).
May this truth of God’s amazing love for you bring you glad tidings of great joy this Christmas season and all the days God gives to you!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!