By Foster H. Shannon
Advent is the observance of the birth of Jesus Christ from Sunday December 3 to Sunday December 24. It is the realization of the promises of the prophets in the Old Testament. It is the fulfillment of the hopes of all believers. Out of our understanding, it brings great joy. The music brings delight. Celebrations are appropriate and uplifting. The inspired word of God affirms the coming of the Messiah:
Genesis 49:10 ‘The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he come to whom it belongs, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”
Numbers 24:17, “I see him but not now; I behold him, but not nigh; a star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.”
Psalm 72:1-7 “Give the king thy justice O God, and thy righteousness to the royal son! May he judge the people with righteousness and thy poor with justice! Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, and give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor! May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon throughout all generations! May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! In his days, may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more.”
Micah 5:2, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.”
Isaiah 11:1-3, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”
Isaiah 9:6,7, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.”
Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, as passages from the Old Testament had prophesied. As a young man he worked as a carpenter with his adopted father. He was baptized by John the Baptist. At that time, the Spirit of God was seen to descend upon him. Jesus attended a wedding feast with his mother. When they ran out of wine, Jesus turned water into wine; the first of many miracles. During his time of ministry he healed many. He gave sight to the blind, healed crippled bodies and raised people from the dead. He exercised the power of God because he was the Son of God, very God of very God. He gathered twelve men to be his disciples. With them he declared the gospel in Judea, Galilee, Samaria, the east side of the Jordan, and north of Galilee. He assured those who heard him that if they believed in him they would be forgiven of their sins, and live with him in heaven. Thousands of people came to see and hear him. The higher classes were jealous and fearful of him. They crucified him to get him out of their way. He was buried. On the third day, he was raised from the dead, appeared to his disciples and to many others.
He was the most famous man ever to live. Tens of millions have believed in him, and have been transformed as the result of that belief. Our lives are better due to his teachings. We have much to celebrate when we remember the teachings of the Bible, the example of Jesus, salvation, regeneration, and making our home with him in Heaven.