Summary: 24 Days Until Christmas
Passage: Jeremiah 23:5-8
Title: Week 1 – The Candle of Anticipation
INTRODUCTION: If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.
The Christmas season is here. A busy season filled with hectic chaos and stressful strain as most of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting things done while moving from various locations. While some are flying here and there, others sit lonely, longing for the season to cease. Whichever the case, we can place our hope in the fact that this is a great season because this is a time of year that calls the Christian to slow down and look to Christ. We must seek to take the focus away from the “doing” and feeling lonely while leaning into the “understanding” of God sending us His incredible gift, Jesus Christ.
The enemy’s greatest focus in this season is to distract us from focusing on what’s really important. We must fight to ready our hearts, focusing on understanding the righteous savior, this advent season and look forward to worshipping the righteous King who has come and will come again!
ADVENT CANDLES EXPLAINED: There are often many symbols used to represent Advent from various churches of many denominations. An evergreen wreath is a solid staple followed by four to five candles. The wreath is a symbol of Christ’s perfection (complete). The evergreen meaning eternal life and the light from the candles often times represent the light of Jesus Christ. Each of the candles has a different meaning.
• The first candle represents the anticipation of Christ coming (anticipation of Christ coming for those in OT and coming again for those living in NT).
o Note: This candle is sometimes tied in with the second candle.
• The second candle is a candle of hope (preparation).
• The third candle is a candle meaning joy.
• The forth candle is a candle representing purity (or love).
• The last candle (usually white to distinguish between the other candles) is the candle is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day representing Christ on as the fulfillment of what is promised in the first four candles.
Depending on which circle one grew up these candles have been known to move from week to week depending on the denomination. The color of the candles often varies but most common are purple, pink and white.
TITLE: Week 1 – The Candle of Anticipation
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” Jeremiah 23:5
#1: Understanding the Righteous Branch (Jeremiah 23:5)
• Explanation: God made a promise in the Old Testament to “raise up for David” another King who would be a “righteous branch”.
o What’s a “Branch?” The Messianic use of the word “branch” (ṣemaḥ) is a term used when one would be grafted (joined) to the family of David who would come to rule Israel honorably. The title ‘branch’ was a well-known term idea used of a priest/king.
o What will this “Branch” be Like? The “branch” would be…
• “Beautiful and glorious” (Isaiah 4:2)
• “Bearing fruit (Isaiah 11:1)
• “The people will serve him” (Jeremiah 30:9).
• Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this prophecy!
• Illustration: Grafting is done for several purposes, but most commonly in the olive oil industry it is to get the hardy roots of one variety with the fecundity of another variety. The whole point of grafting is that each part of the grafted tree keeps its original character. The variety used for the rootstock may be resistant to fungus or other pests but has a small or low yield olive. The graft may have weak roots but large fruit with high oil content. The resulting tree has the best of both varieties.
• Application: What Jesus does in entering into His creations world is let’s the individual keep it’s original character but gives it the ability to resist that which makes it sick so that it can be healthy. However, the individual has to accept this before weak roots can become strong and given knew life. The coming birth of Jesus gives creation a King who will “reign wisely” and “do what is just and right”.
o NOTE: Paul tells us that because of Jesus the priest and king coming as a branch gives the ability to save not only Israel but also all people who call upon the name of the Lord (Jew and Gentile).