In this Advent season, we have been learning the Names of Jesus. He has many names, right? Some are taken from prophecies written about him even before the writers knew him. Others are names given to him once he arrived. And some are names he gave to himself.
So, why are we celebrating advent? Why are we learning Jesus’s names? And why does it matter?
The Advent Season is all about Jesus and the faithfulness of God.
Before Jesus’s birth, there was great anticipation for a messiah who would come and rescue the nation of Israel. How did they get this idea? Well, if you read through the Prophets in the Old Testament, which we are in our Advent readings, you will find promises from God that He would send a Messiah. Now they didn’t entirely understand who this messiah was — was he just for them? Is he a suffering messiah? Is he a conquering messiah? Who is this guy and when he is coming?
Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem was not just some great, random event, but rather a fulfilled prophecy (Micah 5:2-5). This is just one of many prophecies fulfilled in Christ that demonstrates the faithfulness of God. What people had been waiting for was actually happening, yet not in the way they had expected (which is so God, right?)
As we read through the names of Jesus this Advent season remember they are actually fulfilled prophecies. Jesus is the “Man of Sorrows” and the “Redeemer” and the “Prophet.”
Yet, there are also prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled and will be when Christ returns.
Remember: Advent is not just about looking back at the birth of Christ but it’s also looking forward to His return.
We are not only celebrating the fulfilled prophecies, but we are also celebrating the prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled. For example, Christ as the conquering king arriving with the armies of heaven at His side to destroy evil forever and establishing His rule, reign, and authority for eternity (Revelation 19:11-21).
We can have faith that Christ will return as God has shown himself faithful with Jesus’s first coming, His birth.
As we make our way through December, in one of the darkest months out of the year, some of us will struggle with depression, loneliness, isolation, fear, worry, anger, greed, apathy, etc., so let us encourage one another to have faith in God this Advent. He has shown himself true in Christ. A prophecy I look most forward to is this: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away,” (Revelation 21:4).
Let us celebrate the “Light of the World” and the “Horn of Salvation” and the “Prince of Peace” and rejoice and adore Christ the King this season (and really, every season).