1 THE FIRST ADVENT SET JESUS UP FOR THE SECOND.
Jesus had to come in humility to die, so the marriage supper of the Lamb would have plenty of guests. Jesus had to redeem us in order for us to be with him forever. We deserved to die, but he died in our place. Talk about love!! Round two–he comes in glory!
2 JESUS WAS THE POOREST OF THE POOR–AND A REJECT.
He owned nothing but the tunic he wore. In his words, “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20). We would not have expected God’s Son to operate in this way. He gave up the glory of heaven to be a no-name on earth. As Isaiah wrote, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces; he was despised and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).
3 GOD IS AT WORK WHEN IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IT.
If we looked at the cross like people did who saw Jesus die, we would say that he was losing, not winning. In fact, at the cross Jesus thoroughly decimated Satan and his ranks. Jesus “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 2:15)
4 JESUS WAS WILLING TO COME TO EARTH SO WE COULD GO TO HEAVEN.
There is only one way in, to have the righteousness of Jesus applied to our lives by faith. There is no way that we can earn a place in heaven. What we have earned is separation from God for our sin. Faith links us up with a holy God and we are given a right standing with Him.
5 GOD IS OFTEN SILENTLY AT WORK.
Most people had no idea that the incarnation just happened out back from a crowded inn. God announced it–to a few shepherds. God was powerfully at work. His Son was taking on flesh and blood, being born in the likeness of man in order to bring salvation to those who would put their trust in him.
6 CHRISTMAS IS REALLY GOOD NEWS.
Christmas is about a tree, not the one decorated with lights but the one on which he died.
7 GOD’S WAY IS SO DIFFERENT FROM THE WAY WE WOULD HAVE PLANNED.
No one who hears the gospel ever says, “Of course. I should have thought of that.” It does not make sense to the natural mind. It is counter-intuitive. It is shocking that we who deserve to die are given an eternity of bliss by accepting the work of Christ on our behalf. Is that fair? It is the only way we can be saved from eternal destruction.
8 THE RETURN TRIP OF JESUS WILL LOOK NOTHING LIKE THE FIRST.
He came the first time in humility. Only a few shepherds saw him. When he returns, “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him” (Rev. 1:7). He will come not to die but to reign!