Summary: The preparation made for the coming of the Christ, and what is required of us today.
Considering The Coming Of The Christ
I. THE PREPARATION BY THE FATHER
a) THE COMING TO EARTH
Isaiah 6:8 I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
b) THE COMING TO THE CROSS
Colossians 1:16 – 20 by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fulness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
II. THE PREPARATION BY THE CHRIST
a) IN ETERNITY
Philippians 2:6 – 8 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
b) ON EARTH
Hebrews 4:15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. [NLT]
III. THE PREPARATION BY THE PEOPLE
a) THE PREPARATION BY SIMEON AND ANNA
Luke 2:21 – 35 At the end of the eight days, the time came for circumcising the child and he was called Jesus, the name given to him by the angel before his conception. 22 When the "purification" time, stipulated by the Law of Moses, was completed, they brought Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. 23 This was to fulfill a requirement of the law of the Lord—"Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord." 24 They also offered the sacrifice prescribed by the Law—"A pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons." 25 In Jerusalem there was at this time amen by the name of Simeon. He was an upright man, devoted to the service of God, living in expectation of the Restoration of Israel. His heart was open to the Holy Spirit, 26 and it had been revealed to him that he would not die before he saw the Lord’s Christ.
27 He had been led by the Spirit to go into the Temple, and when Jesus’ parents brought the child in to have done to him what the Law required, 28 he took him up in his arms, blessed God and said- 29 "Now, Lord, you are dismissing your servant in peace, as you promised! 30 For with my own eyes I have seen your salvation 31 which, you have made ready for all peoples to see— 32 a light to show truth to the gentiles and bring glory to your people Israel."
33 The child’s father and mother were still amazed at what was said about him, 34 when Simeon gave them his blessing. He said to Mary, the child’s mother, "This child is destined to make many fall and many rise in Israel and to set up a standard which many will attack— 35 For he will expose the secret thoughts of many hearts. And for you…your very soul will be pierced by a sword." [JBP]
Luke 2:36 – 38 There was also present, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher, who was a prophetess. 37 She was a very old woman, having had seven years’ married life and was now a widow of eighty-four. She spent her whole life in the Temple and worshipped God night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 She came up at this very moment, praised God and spoke about Jesus to all those in Jerusalem who were expecting redemption.
b) THE PREPARATION BY THE WISE MEN
1. PREPARATION FOR THE JOURNEY
Matthew 2:2 “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose in the east and have come to worship him."
2. PREPARATION TO WORSHIP
Matthew 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
c) THE PREPARATION BY MARY AND JOSEPH
Matthew 1:18 – 21 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."