This advent season, I would like to introduce a new theme. Advent is a time of preparation. We look forward to celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is also a time to look forward to His second coming. With that in mind, over the next four weeks, we will look at some of the purposes which Jesus came the first time and some that He will be coming to complete in His second coming.
Isaiah 25:6-9; 26:1-6
The first Sunday of Advent, we will look at how: Jesus came to EXECUTE JUSTICE
What does that mean? For me, it means that He came to bring back what is right. People had lost focus. God had not spoken for 400 years. The religious officials were doing the right things for the wrong reasons. The people had become lost and complacent. In the times of the prophet Malachi, God warns the people because they have broken covenants through their pitiful sacrifices, their injustice, and willful disobedience. God lays it all out to them about how they have disobeyed Him. As time goes on, they continue to disobey Him. Sure, there are those who know the law. There are those who follow the law to the letter. But those same people who are following the law are twisting it so that they feel justified and they can do what they desire. God doesn’t stand for disobedience. He wanted justice.
Jesus came to bring justice to His people. He didn’t come in the way that one might think. He didn’t execute justice in the way that people would have guessed. He didn’t come and follow the law and make those of the law feel better about themselves. He did the unexpected. He came as a baby not born to human royalty. He came as a baby who grew up without a lot of fanfare. He grew up and didn’t follow the rules set by the religious as people thought He should. The justice He brought was for the poor and oppressed…it was for the sinners…the outcasts…the cast down. Jesus didn’t come for those who already thought a great deal about themselves…they felt justified by their good works. They were following the law, to their benefit. The religious leaders excluded many people…Jesus touched them.
Jesus came to show the people what following God really meant. He brought hope where hope had been lost (Isaiah 9:2). He turned over tables of money changers, He blew the minds of those who thought they were doing everything perfect, He showed them that God is a God of hope…Hope for those who were lost, hurting, abandoned.
Jesus continues to do that. He continues to challenge us. We think we have it together as a church. We think we have it together as Christians. But, if we read His Word, we realize over and over again where we miss it. We miss what it means to really worship…to obey…to follow…to love.
Jesus will come again…He will finish what He started. When He does, justice will be fulfilled completely…Revelation 21:6, “He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all of this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.'”
For those who have gone their own way and forsaken the Lord, there is a justice for them as well. It is described as the lake of fire. Justice has come, justice will come again.
What does that mean for me and you? It means that we have to look at who we are and what we are doing. Our actions should reflect what is on the inside. If we know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, then that should not be hidden, but like the candle lit this morning, should light the way of hope. Maybe it’s time we start getting serious about our faith and following the One whose coming we celebrate this month. Maybe it’s time we look at ourselves to inspect if we are following the justice of God or the justice of man. Maybe it’s time we take a look at who it is we follow.