During the Advent season the His Kingdom Come community is posting a daily devotion from a variety of authors. We are using music to usher us into the Advent season and draw us deeper into the journey from Advent to Christmas.
Below is the devotion I wrote for the HKC community today based on the song "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus".
Worship Video: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus by Marcy Priest https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TedBbU71Qc
Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver, born a child, and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever, now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by Thine own sufficient merit, raise us to Thy glorious throne.
This Advent song was written by Charles Wesley in the 1700’s for a collection he titled “Hymns on The Nativity of Our Lord”. As you read through or listen to this hymn you see how Wesley brings together the Old Testament promise of the Messiah, “Israel’s strength and consolation”, and the New Testament story of the baby who was also a king and “the hope of all the earth”. Because so many of the songs we are looking at during this Advent season focus on the fulfillment of the Messianic promises found in Christ, I thought I would focus on the repetition we find in this song which shows us Jesus’ purpose and mission.
Throughout this song the word “born” reveals what the incarnation of Jesus was for:
Born to set thy people free…
Born thy people to deliver,
Born a child, and yet a king,
Born to reign in us forever…
Isaiah beautifully paints a picture of the coming Messiah:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7
In Matthew we are told this Messiah, this King who would rule “with Justice and righteousness”, was found in Bethlehem: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus came “to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20”28; Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6) The Israelites expected that the Messiah would free them from slavery, bondage and oppression.
But God had a greater plan; The Messiah would free men from the bondage of sin and death. “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” Hebrews 9:15
Paul explains this even more in Galatians: “So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” Galatians 4:3-7
Jesus Christ, The Messiah, would also fulfill the promise of the New Covenant: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.” Ezekiel 36:26-28
In Christ this promise extends beyond the Israelites to include the Gentiles: “I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:25-27
Jesus Christ, The Messiah, The King of glory was born “to reign in us forever.” This hymn connects us personally to the joy of the season. We see in it that in Christ we experience freedom from fear and sin, we find our rest in Him, He is our strength and consolation, our hope and our joy.
My Advent Rolodex art card for today:
30 Day Blogging Challenge Day 19