1 Peter 1:10-12 (ESV) Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Advent is a time set apart to celebrate God and his fulfillment of his word in Jesus’ coming. Advent is also a time to anticipate he is coming again to fully realize the fullness of his kingdom’s rule on earth as it is in heaven.
In Advent, we celebrate the already and not yet of God’s kingdom.
Concerning the salvation of God’s kingdom, the divinely inspired authors of the Old Testament inquired of God carefully and preached about Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, and his glory.
In doing this, they had some understanding that they were not just serving themselves or their time, but they were serving their brothers and sisters in the Lord who would get to see what they so longed for, and which even angels long to see.
This is one of the reasons why we read and work hard to make sense of the Old Testament. It reveals to us Jesus the Messiah.
Listen to Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream:
Daniel 2:31-45 (ESV) You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
36 “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”
Let me just get real with you and to the point. God showed Nebuchadnezzar his transient nature as a human king, the transient nature of kings and nations that would come after him, AND he revealed the eternal nature…the power…the global scope…and the powerful crushing nature of the God/King who would sit on the throne of his kingdom…and that it would be God who would do all this…and that Nebuchadnezzar didn’t have an option in it.
Want to guess who this “stone” is that strikes the image and breaks it in pieces and becomes a great mountain that fills the whole earth? You got it! Jesus the Stone and Mountain of God!
Jesus has come, and he is coming again to put the final touches on the mission he has given us of discipling the nations into his reign, and we rejoice.
Advent. We celebrate that he has come, and rejoice that he is coming again, and we give thanks for his word that makes it so clear.