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Advent 2022 (Realized Expectation)

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Isaiah 40:3–5 CSB
3 A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert. 4 Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill will be leveled; the uneven ground will become smooth and the rough places, a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will appear, and all humanity together will see it, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
The two part purpose of advent involves both looking back and looking forward.
The thing that ties these two parts together is the great expectation that surrounds both of these important events.
The Christmas story is in essence a story of realized expectation.
Along with expectation also comes preparation.
Luke 1:14–17 CSB
14 There will be joy and delight for you, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and will never drink wine or beer. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb. 16 He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.”
Matthew 3:1–3 CSB
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!” 3 For he is the one spoken of through the prophet Isaiah, who said: A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord; make his paths straight!
This idea of preparing for the coming of Christ is not just an idea tied to His first coming but also one which is tied to His second coming.
Revelation 19:6–10 CSB
6 Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying, Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty, reigns! 7 Let us be glad, rejoice, and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has prepared herself. 8 She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure. For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: Blessed are those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb!” He also said to me, “These words of God are true.” 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who hold firmly to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
But how should we prepare for the second coming of Christ?
We can learn from those who prepared for His first coming.
John 1:29–39 CSB
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I told you about: ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’ 31 I didn’t know him, but I came baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and he rested on him. 33 I didn’t know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The one you see the Spirit descending and resting on—he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” 35 The next day, John was standing with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this and followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and noticed them following him, he asked them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come and you’ll see,” he replied. So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon.
Let us look first at this question that Jesus asks these two disciples.
What are you looking for?
So what were they looking for?
The answer comes, not from their lips, but from the statement that was made which caused them to follow Jesus in the first place.
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
Isaiah 53:5–12 CSB
5 But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds. 6 We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished him for the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 He was taken away because of oppression and judgment, and who considered his fate? For he was cut off from the land of the living; he was struck because of my people’s rebellion. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, but he was with a rich man at his death, because he had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully. 10 Yet the Lord was pleased to crush him severely. When you make him a guilt offering, he will see his seed, he will prolong his days, and by his hand, the Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished. 11 After his anguish, he will see light and be satisfied. By his knowledge, my righteous servant will justify many, and he will carry their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him the many as a portion, and he will receive the mighty as spoil, because he willingly submitted to death, and was counted among the rebels; yet he bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels.
1 Peter 1:18–21 CSB
18 For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was revealed in these last times for you. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
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