Advent 2018: Hope
Advent is a season of expectation. The word “advent” means “arrival”… and that’s what this season is all about. Remembering the hopeful expectation of God’s people for generation upon generation as they waited Jesus’ first advent, and remembering our own hopeful expectation as we await his second advent. This is a season marked by hope and waiting
God’s people have always been people of hope. Genesis 3:15 is referred to as the “first gospel” (or protoevangelion, if you want to be technical), because in the midst of God’s curse on the serpent, Satan’s victory was foretold. Even from the first moment of judgment for sin, God held out hope for salvation and rescue. Indeed, God has never left his children without hope.
And hope is what we need. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:2). In this midst of the darkness and trials of life, imagine living without hope. Trying to scrape and claw your way through whatever life throws at you… on your own strength and ability. But we are people of hope. So when we grieve, suffer, and are anxious… we cast our hope on God whose throne does not waiver and whose sovereignty is unchallenged.
Because Jesus has gone before us, we trust in him (Hebrews 6:19-20 ). He has ascended into glory, where he stands as our advocate to the Father today. He will return against and complete the work of salvation. Our faith will become sight. Our hope will be fulfilled because our hope is not in Jesus… Jesus himself is our hope.
Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil (1 John 3:8 ). He came in a hay-filled cradle, to carry the cross to Calvary, in order to receive the victor’s crown and to share the crown with us. So as you walk through this Advent season, remember the Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown… and remember, as Christian missionary Adoniram Judson once wrote, “The future is as bright as the promises of God.”