Since the Thanksgiving holiday is over and the month of December has begun, it is time for Christians to begin their journey through the season of Advent. This celebrates the time when Jesus Christ came to earth to be born as a baby to the Virgin Mary and Joseph.
Our journey begins with discovering the reason why Jesus came to earth and then looking at the many Bible prophecies that He fulfilled both when He arrived and when completed His mission on earth.
The reason why Jesus came to earth was to complete God’s plan for the spiritual redemption of mankind that was begun after the original people, Adam and Eve, were seduced by the serpent/Devil into disobeying God’s command not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, as described in Genesis 3:1-6.
Their disobedience caused them to fall from being in a perfect state with a special relationship with God into a sinful state separated from God and caused God to impose on them the punishment of the spiritual death sentence that He warned them about. (Genesis 3:3, 16-19)
However, at the same time, God still wanted to have a close relationship with mankind, but He also knew that Adam and Eve would only pass their sinful state onto their descendants. So God developed a special plan for the spiritual redemption of mankind that would eventually restore that close relationship.
That plan was first seen in the judgment that God pronounced on Adam and Eve as found in Genesis 3:15. In that verse God prophesied that the seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head. That prophecy was remembered by those people of succeeding generations who wanted to follow God’s principles for living as they watched many people around them get further into wickedness and spiritual darkness by rebelling against God’s rules.
In the midst of the time of great spiritual darkness God gave His people three great prophecies through the prophet Isaiah. The first of these is found in Isaiah 9:2, 6 (NASB), where God proclaimed that “The people who walked in darkness will see a great light, those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them . . . For a child will be born to us; a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders, and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” In Isaiah 7:14, God prophesied that a virgin would bear a son and call His name Immanuel. Then, in Isaiah 11:1-5, God prophesied that the redeemer would come from the stem of Jessie and have great wisdom from God.
The fulfillment of those prophecies began when the angel Gabriel appeared first to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, and six months later to the Virgin Mary. Gabriel told her that the Holy Spirit would come over her and she would conceive and bear a son and call His name Jesus. (Luke 1:26-38)
The birth of Jesus took place in Bethlehem in fulfillment of the prophecy in Micah 5:2. . Matthew 1:21-23 describes How Jesus’ birth fulfilled the above prophecies of Isaiah. Jesus’ birth was proclaimed to shepherds on the nearby hills by many angels. (Luke 2:9-14) His birth was also proclaimed by a special star that guided some wise men to come from Persia so they could worship “He who has been born King of the Jews.” (Matthew 2:2)
Other prophecies that Jesus would fulfill in completing God’s redemptive plan are found in Revelation 13:8 and 1 Peter 1:20. These passages describe how Jesus was to be the Lamb of God that was slain from the foundation of the world. Although Jesus wasn’t actually slain at that time, the plan was developed then for Him, as the Lamb of God, to become the perfect Passover sacrifice.
That typology came from the time that God had the Israelite people put the blood of a spotless lamb on the doorpost of their houses in order to protect them from the death angel that, as part of the tenth plague, was going to bring death to all of the first born in the land of Egypt. Having that protection from death and being delivered from their bondage in Egypt is celebrated by the Jewish people during the Feast of Passover.
This typology became applied to Jesus at the beginning of His earthly ministry when John the Baptist proclaimed Him to be “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Jesus fulfilled that role through His sacrificial death on the cross on Passover. Since Jesus had lived a perfect life without breaking any of God’s laws, He could offer Himself up as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. (Hebrews 10:12) He took the punishment of death that everyone who broke God’s laws deserved.
When Jesus did that, He completed God’s plan for the spiritual redemption of mankind and made it possible for those people who ask God to forgive them for breaking God’s laws, accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, and spiritually apply His sacrificial atonement on the cross to become reconciled and have a close relationship with God.
It is that plan which would once again make it possible for people to have a close relationship with God, their Creator that made Jesus come to earth to complete.
So as Christians celebrate Jesus’ coming to earth during the journey of Advent, let us proclaim His coming by the carols we sing, the messages we give to those people around us, and the gifts we give to our family and friends!