When will the Messiah come? Did God really say? Can God be trusted? God seems so distant. I can just imagine the thoughts of the Jewish people as they endured years of long suffering in waiting for their promised Messiah to come.
Then close to 2,000 years ago a young girl pledged to be married receives Word, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” God didn’t break open the heavens and come down in glory. God came in the hidden place from the eye. God came in the womb of a woman. Jesus shared in every part of our humanity in each stage of our life from embryo to fetus to infant to toddler to child to adolescent to adult. We read in Hebrews 2 that Jesus had to be made like Abraham’s descendants “fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” Read that last part again…He did this so that He might make atonement for the sins of his people.
Wait but what about this promised King prophesied about in Isaiah who was going to rule with righteousness and justice and give peace? Wouldn’t the Messiah set up his Kingdom now? Wouldn’t He punish the wicked? The crowds gathered as their King rode on a donkey’s colt that had never been ridden, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel.”
People missed it then and I believe many are missing it now too. The crowds praised Jesus as their king had come! He had healed the sick, he had calmed the storms, he had raised the dead, and he had cast out the demonic. This must be the King who was going to make everything better for them right now! Hosanna, the King has come! You can imagine the thoughts of the people of God, our long suffering is finished. Hosanna, He is finally here. However, right after Jesus rode into Jerusalem as king he talked about his death. Crowds spoke up and asked ,”We have learned from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man.”
Oh How much higher are the thoughts of God than of man! His ways are not our ways!
The people were looking for a King to make all their circumstances better! However when Jesus given over to Pilate he told him something different, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is not from this world.” (John 18:36) Jesus came to first set up His Kingdom not on what is visible on the outside as people thought. He came to set up His Kingdom first in the hidden places. Jesus came to set up his Kingdom first in the heart of people.
Hang with me here and let’s take a look back in Genesis.
God gave the first man and woman he created a choice to submit to him as Lord trusting him in his rule and reign. The woman and the man doubted God’s authority and his goodness and broke the one law God had given them. God gave them this restriction in love in the garden not to harm them but to invite them into a deep trusting relationship. When the man and woman broke the law they rejected God’s rule and reign. Outside of God there can be no life and the man and woman chose to go their own way as we all have. The wages of sin is death. We can not earn our way back into God’s Kingdom. We are all born shut out with no way to get back in.
BUT God…. 2,000 years ago the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. When Jesus started his public ministry he proclaimed, “The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.” He was able to say this because Jesus , himself is the promised king. The king himself had come down from heaven however it wasn’t to establish his rule and reign in the earth like all had thought he had come to do at first. Jesus did not come to show people the way to live. Jesus proclaimed, “I have come that them may have life and have it to the full.” How did he do this though? The week after Jesus was praised riding into Jerusalem he willingly hung on a cross giving his life as a ransom for many all for the glory of God. Jesus paid the price for the sinner drinking the just wrath we each deserve with his blood freeing all who will seek refuge in him from the sting of death raising again on the third day. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Jesus stands at the door of the heart and knocks. “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
Jesus Christ first sets up his kingdom(his rule and reign) in the hearts of broken sinners who will repent trusting in him receiving His righteousness. It is then out of an overflow of the heart one then walks daily this side of eternity telling others about King Jesus and the life he gives!
Jesus promises trouble for the follower of him in this world but to take heart that he has overcome the world. Christ will come again to this earth and establish his kingdom in full. Next time he comes his coming will be very visible! He is coming soon and “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever! ” (Isaiah 9:7) Outside of his Kingdom Jesus warns, “The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
Let all who has ears hear.
I leave you with a song that has been such a gift to me in good times and in hard over these last 5 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6_BLuhr0HQ I invite you to listen to it and really meditate on the words.
May Jesus be the King of your heart and then out of the overflow of your heart may you spread the aroma of him wherever you go for his glory and renown in all the earth.
You are loved.