Advent: Hope in His Appearing

Text: Luke 2:1-7

Big Idea: “The miracle of Christ’s birth reminds us that God is faithful and His plans always come to pass.”

I. God’s plan was foretold in history.
God’s plan to save sinners didn’t start in the manger. It started in the garden. Back in Genesis, when Adam and Eve chose sin over God, their lives were destroyed. But even then, God promised He would rescue them (Genesis 3:15).

The rest of the OT points forward to that offspring of woman, the One who would come and save God’s people. But how would God do this? When would this happen?

God chose prophets and spoke to them the details of this plan, so that God’s people would be encouraged. (See Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; Micah 5:2)

The people didn’t understand it then, but God was saying, “I’m going to rescue you – not by sending an angel or another prophet of men. I’m coming myself. God Himself will be with you and will become one of you.” The Messiah will come as a child – a son – THE Son God promised back in the garden. He will come from the lineage of David. He will reign as King over all, and He will rule forever.

2. God’s plan unfolds in reality.
But we’ve all had those moments when nothing was going right and we thought, “This can’t be God’s will. If this was God’s will it would just fall into place, instead of completely falling apart!” But that’s not always true. In fact, it’s usually when things don’t go according to our plan that we see God’s plan more clearly. Because God likes to remind us that He is present and active in the messy details of our lives.

For instance, God chose a strange time in Israel’s history to bring the long awaited Messiah. This was not a happy time for the Jews. 1) They had not heard from God in those 400 years of silence between the OT and the NT, and 2) their nation was occupied and oppressed by the Romans.

And I’m sure Mary and Joseph had questions, too. Life had not worked out as they had planned either. But they trusted God because they knew God was faithful.

Jesus the Son of God, born in a barn, wrapped in rags, laid in a feeding-trough, in a little town in the middle of nowhere, occupied and ruled by a foreign army…and every one of those details was planned by God.

3. God’s plan points to a future eternity.
Because Christ came just as the Father promised, because every detail was fulfilled just as the Father intended, because Christ lived, died for our sins and rose from the dead just as the Father planned, our hope is secure if our hope is in Christ alone.

And that hope is not just in the past or in this life right now. Our hope is secure because God’s plan points us to a future eternity. There is one promise yet to be fulfilled – and that is the Second Coming, the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And His Second Coming will not be like the first. He will not come as a baby in a barn, but as the Victorious King and Conqueror. He will not come to die, but to make all things new, to put a final end to evil and sin, and to be reunited with His Church forever.

Right now, this life is messy. It’s temporary. It’s limited. But one day, that will all change. Let this Christmas season remind us that our God is faithful, that He fulfills all His plans and keeps all His promises. Our hope is secure because our King has come, and He is coming again.

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