Discover more from Grounded in the Bible
What do you have on your wish list for Christmas this year? A shiny gadget for your kitchen or garage? A new book? A car with a crazy big bow like in the commercials? Maybe a date night out without the kids? Whatever you have on your list, you hope you get it, right? Hope. The hope we have for getting a certain gift at Christmas is based only on our own wishes and desires. That’s not the real hope of Christmas. Those things are only temporary.
So what is the real hope of Christmas? In the Old Testament, the Israelites hoped that the Messiah would come and save them from their oppressors. This hope is based on the promise in Isaiah 9:6-7:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 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. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
The hope the Israelites had was for this child. This ruler who would establish and uphold justice and righteousness. Even the Magi from the east came looking for the king of the Jews (Matthew 2:1-12). But what they found was a child, Jesus. A child who would grow up to perform miracles and teach radical ideas about how to live.
Throughout his life, crowds of people followed Jesus and proclaimed him as the Messiah (Mark 11:1-10). Even more believed that Jesus was the Messiah after his death and resurrection (Acts 2). They found their hope fulfilled. They found the One the Scriptures promised would come and save them from their sin.
So what about us? What hope do we have? Hope is usually a word that makes us think toward the future, not the past. What future hope do we have as Christians? This hope is different than the hope we have when we are wishing for a certain gift under the tree. The hope we have in Christ is based on something true and trustworthy. It is something that we can have complete confidence will happen. Hebrews 10:22-23 talks about this type of hope:
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
The hope this passage is talking about is the full assurance that we have been cleansed from our sins if we believe in Jesus. We are confident that if we have professed faith in Jesus, we will stand before God in judgment someday and he will see us as holy. No longer will we have to pay the penalty for our sins. Instead, we will be clothed in righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). As Christians, we have this hope because of a baby born long ago in Bethlehem. A baby who came to be the Savior of the world. That’s the real message of hope this Christmas. That’s the hope that will last for eternity.
Don’t forget to follow along with our Advent calendar! It starts today! All the verses this week speak about the message of Hope.
And you still have until tomorrow (11/29/2021) to take advantage of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday discount!