RECOGNIZING THE COMING OF CHRIST
FRIDAY 24 DECEMBER 2021
In His final approach to Jerusalem as a King, Jesus intelligently packaged Himself. The intelligence of His packaging was important because of the significance of His destination. Remember He is the King of kings; as He rode, the people gave Him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street. Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into intense and exuberant praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed: which instantly attracted His "confrontation" with direct opposition: the Pharisees.
Reference: Luke 19: 41, 44 New International Version (NIV) As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes... because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."
Although it was a triumphal entry, Jesus wept over Jerusalem saying, "The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another." Why? Its because the inhabitants did not recognise the time of their visitation, which was Christ's coming in the flesh.
Christ's journey on a donkey was an amazing approach that had a far-reaching implication, because the whole crowd recognised Him as the King of kings. In fact they screamed all the way, "Blessed is the King, the One who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" However, compared to the New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb as recorded in Revelation 21:9-27 (NIV), Jesus noted that the earthly Jerusalem would not wholly experience peace because the conditions for peace was far hidden from it. As for the new Jerusalem, it was clearly a true revelation that John saw a glimpse of, in his vision: "I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband"(see Revelation 21:2 NIV). This means that we have and foresee a great eternity with Christ.
Even if you enjoy all the privileges of Christ's coming this season and still live without having and knowing Him as your Lord, living without Christ in this present world is a great loss because you won't experience the real "peace" from the Prince of peace (see Isaiah 9:6). Don't let that continue to happen as you celebrate His birth this season. You can't celebrate the Saviour and still live against the principle of the Kingdom He represents. As for born again Christians, this very season, we can strike a balance between enjoying the pleasurable nourishments and outings and reaching out to others with the true meaning of Christmas. In doing so, we recognize His coming with reverence and at the same time, we become more empowered to live for Him on earth and well equipped with every good thing for the fulfilment of our purpose in Him in the coming year.
To be simply precise, one of the ways to recognise the coming of Christ is: To be consistent with our commitment to sharing His love with others, and take affirmative steps to lead them to Christ. Another way of recognizing the coming of Christ is to share communion together and often. As born again Christians, we should practise taking communion this season when at home or just about anywhere. The Bible says, "For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are representing and signifying and proclaiming the fact of the Lord's death until He comes [again]" (1 Corinthians 11:26 AMPC). In other words, through constant practice, we recognize that He came and died for us and we must continue in the very act until He comes back. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Matthew 10:32; 1 John 2:23; Philippians 2:11; 1 John 4:2.
Guided Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I'm grateful for the coming of Christ Jesus and my spiritual union with Him, which manifests the characteristics of divine love, joy and peace in my life. Through humility, fervency, gratitude, and love, I acknowledge that Jesus came from heaven to earth to strongly establish the great mystery of God's plan for my salvation and glory. Therefore, I recognize today and always that He is divinity at work in me, both to will and to do of your good pleasure, in Jesus' Name, Amen!