In Luke 1:31-33, we read of two events, a past and a future. Mary conceived and bore a son, He was called Jesus. Jesus the Christ will return to the earth and reign as king of His kingdom forever.
Past: Jesus’ first coming – God has sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus, to be born of virgin Mary, in the little town of Bethlehem. Jesus was a perfect man – completely righteous and without sin. He is God’s unblemished offering for the sins of all mankind. Sinful people everywhere offered unblemished animals and costly gifts to ask their own deities for forgiveness for sins. This is carried out annually or on festive days. The times of ignorance, God has overlooked. Jesus came as the Lamb of God. He is the perfect sacrificial Lamb to be made as an offering for sins of all mankind.
Jesus came as a humble and obedient Servant of Yahweh and was crucified on the Cross. The Cross is God’s way to forgive everyone who believes in Him. God cancelled the record of debt that stood against every sinner with its legal demands. He set aside this debt, nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:13-14).
In the Old Testament, Yahweh (YHWH, 耶和华) is the Most High God (El-Elyon). Among ancient Chinese, from Xia Dynasty (2040 BC) right up to 1911, the emperors of China offered the best animal sacrifices to the Most High God (皇天上帝 – supreme deity, highest deity). This is the same God who created the heavens and the earth.
Present: Today, many people still choose to offer personal sacrifices for sins. This could be due to ignorance, human tradition or one’s own philosophy. Christ’s offering of His own Body made all sin offerings redundant. “Where there is forgiveness of sins and lawless deeds, there is no longer any offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:18). Every sinner who repents of one’s own ways and believes in Jesus’ righteousness will be sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:10). Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Most High God. He is interceding for everyone who has come to Him and will come to Him. Pray in the Name of Jesus for your own spiritual growth. Pray in His Name for everyone to hear the Gospel and believe in Christ’s righteous deed on the Cross.
As believers, followers of Jesus, we are called to worship and serve Christ in all that we do. At present, we do not see Christ’s literal kingdom on earth as He has yet to pour out His wrath on all wickedness during the Great Tribulation.
Now is the dispensation of grace and truth. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) Share the truths of God and the gracious news that Jesus came to save.
Future: Christ’s second coming – He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High (至高者). He will come to establish God’s righteousness on the earth and there shall be peace on earth. He will judge all wickedness and unrighteousness.
Worship and serve Christ your Saviour and your King
Commit to worship Christ personally and daily. Discipline yourselves to assemble regularly to worship Christ corporately. Pay careful attention to Christ’s teachings. Serve Christ in all that you do. Ask the Holy Spirit for Christ’s strength, spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you can live for Christ. Servants receive instructions regularly from their masters. So receive regular instructions from God by studying God’s word. God will bless you when you obey His word (Luke 11:28).
Blessed Christmas to one and all!
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo