This post is part of a series of Christmas Devotionals by Dr. John Neihof, president of Wesley Biblical Seminary. You can find all of the devotionals by clicking here.
Scripture passage: Luke 10:23-24
Throughout the centuries the Hebrew people longed for Messiah. That longing spanned the centuries from the garden to the manger.
Advent season is all about longing. It is a season of waiting in the church calendar that evokes longing within us–a longing for Jesus. Throughout the Advent season, I ponder the brokenness of my world. I find myself longing for Jesus to intervene. I long for His soon return. In those moments, I begin to rediscover the longing of humanity from the garden to the manger.
Imagine Adam and Eve’s joy upon the birth of their first child, Cain. Their sin had driven them from the Garden of Eden. God had promised a deliverer, a Messiah. Surely, this child is the Messiah. I can only imagine their crushing disappointment when their hope turned out to be a murderer who killed his own brother.
Old Testament prophets stirred the longing for a deliverer. Could it be Moses, or Aaron, or Joshua, or Samson, or Saul, or David? One after another they entered and exited. One after another, humanity continued to look for another.
The hope of the ages is a Redeemer, a Savior, one who sets a wrong world right. Jesus, the Son of God, made flesh came to dwell among us. Emmanuel—God with us.
So, I long for His return! I join in the longing of the ages, not for His first coming, but for the second. I want to see Jesus. Bill Gaither’s song, I’ve Just Seen Jesus, expressed His disciple’s joy upon discovering the reality of the resurrected Christ.
I’ve just seen Jesus, I tell you He’s alive
I’ve just seen Jesus, our precious Lord alive
And I knew He really saw me too
As if till now I’d never lived
All that I’d done before won’t matter anymore
I’ve just seen Jesus, I’ve just seen Jesus
I’ve just seen Jesus
The longing of the ages is to see Jesus! Face to face! The same longing of humanity from the garden to the manger, is the same longing we feel between the time He ascended to the Father until His return.
Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!