Words by Charles Wesley
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the season where we remember Jesus and His coming to earth as a baby. For many, many years, the Jews had waited for their Messiah, the One who would set them free from their fears and sins. The Law couldn’t do that. The Law, and the sacrifices associated with the Law, could never set them free, it only reminded them of their sin.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. Hebrews 10:1-3
They needed a Savior, the Hope of all the earth, to redeem them and deliver them from their life in the Law. Jesus was this Savior! He was born to deliver God’s people, born just like you and me, but without sin. Can you imagine what the shepherds must have thought when the angel came to tell them that the Savior they had been waiting for was finally here? And not only that, he was a BABY! In a manger of all places!
In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Luke 2:8-12
Jesus was the long expected Savior born those many years ago. And just as in the Advent season we reflect upon Christ coming to earth as a baby to grow up to save His people through His death on the cross, we now await His second return to earth. Some day, soon I hope, He will come to bring those who have believed in Him home with Him, to live with Him forever. Jesus Himself promised this when He was here on this earth.
"In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3
That day is coming when Christ will bring His kingdom and raise us to His glorious throne. Are you ready?