Luke 24: Christmas Past, Christmas Future

“Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Luke 24:27

This final chapter of Luke closes the earthly ministry of Jesus with the account of His resurrection and final encounters with His disciples.  The eye-witness accounts confirm the historical validity of His bodily resurrection.  These events and this instruction from Jesus reminds us of the many fulfilled prophecies of Christ’s birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection.

And the future promise of Christ’s second coming is just as certain as the fulfilled prophecies of His first.  Luke doesn’t recount Christ’s ascension until the first chapter of his sequel, the book of Acts, but there the disciples are assured of His return.

Christmas is not just about looking back to Christ’s first Advent, it is about looking ahead to His second. We celebrate most appropriately when our remembrance is seasoned with our anticipation.  Just as Mary, Joseph, and all the faithful eagerly awaited the arrival of the baby Jesus, we look forward to the return of King Jesus.

In Christ’s first coming He came as a helpless infant.
In His second He will come as a conquering warrior.

His first advent involved natural means.
His second will be with supernatural manifestation.

When He came the first time he came to be with us for a lifetime.
When He returns He will be with us forever.

He came weeping for our sin, unbelief, and sorrow.
He will return wiping away all tears.

The first time He came to where we are.
The second time He will take us to where He is.

He came in great poverty.
He returns with a golden, bejeweled city of fabulous worth.

In His first advent He died as a Sacrificial Lamb.
In His second He will rule as a Sovereign King.

He arrived in the “fullness of time.”
He will return at the “end of time.”

He came to accomplish our Justification.
He will come again to accomplish our Glorification.

He was born in obscurity.
When He returns every eye shall see Him.

He was despised and rejected of men.
But when He returns every knee shall bow and every tongue confess He is Lord.

The first time He was born King of the Jews.
The second time He will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Merry Christmas!  And, Maranatha!


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