Advent: King Before the Beginning of Time
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” (Colossians 1:15–22)
“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!’
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.'” (Isaiah 6:1–7)
“Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.” (John 12:41)
Read: Isaiah 6:1-13, John 12:20-43, Colossians 1:15-22
To truly celebrate Christ’s advent, we must first learn what God’s Word says about who Jesus is. What was Christ doing before coming to earth? Some of the richest prophecies of the coming of Jesus are found in the words of Isaiah, one of the Lord’s prophets to Israel. Here, Isaiah is given a wonderful vision of God the Son on His throne—740 years before the birth in Bethlehem. By God’s grace, we have John’s testimony to help us understand (John 12:41).
Not only did Jesus reign on His throne before coming to earth, but mighty angels worshipped Him day and night. His glory and holiness exuded so much power that the heavenly beings couldn’t even look upon His face. As they cry out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts” they worship the eternal and perfectly complete nature of Christ’s holiness. Isaiah writes that the “foundations of the thresholds” shook at the very voice of God. How much more should we, as finite and sinful people, stand in awe of our mighty Lord!
Isaiah cried out in a trembling plea for forgiveness. Seeing a small glimpse of real holiness brought on a hyperawareness of his unworthiness. Face to face with the God of light, Isaiah was the very definition of darkness. He records, “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). But God, in a moment, purifies Isaiah’s mouth and atones for his sin. Isaiah, in this vision, receives the atonement and purification that we all need. Christ’s holiness and righteousness are so complete and pervading that only He can atone for our sin. The “whole earth is filled with His glory,” but yet He loves us individually and rescues us specifically. If you are a born-again follower of Christ, then you are His child. He knows you intimately.
Before the beginning of time, Christ was on His throne. He is the mighty warrior King who would one day delve down into the depths of humanity as a humble baby, to redeem us and bring us back to Himself.
- Remember the wonder of Christ’s holiness this Christmas season. Stand in awe of His might and glory.
- Praise God for His mercy and grace in your life specifically. Regardless of what has happened this past year, we must remember Christ (King of the universe) left His heavenly throne to come down on a rescue mission to save us.
- Thank Christ for His perfect holiness. He is infinitely worthy of honor, and we are infinitely worthy of judgment. By His grace, we can have new life in Jesus!
Lord Jesus, I praise for your infinite might, power, and holiness. Thank you for revealing yourself to me in your Word and in coming to earth as a baby in Bethlehem. Teach me to tremble in humble, fervent worship of your power. But also, give me the power to daily walk in the grace you’ve provided me in salvation.
Family Discipleship Time
- What is the prophet’s job? (To speak God’s words to His people, because the people were too sinful to be in His presence)
- This was a vision of perfect, sinless angels (seraphim) worshipping God the Son. Why is Jesus worthy of such honor and glory? (He is the King of Kings, the Son of God, Creator of the universe)
- What are other places in the Bible where it mentions God’s voice or word? (Creation, John 1, healing sickness, forgiveness in the gospel accounts, etc.)
- How does Isaiah react when he sees the Lord? (in awe, repentant, fearful, realizes he is unworthy)
- How does God the Son (Jesus) react to Isaiah’s worship and repentance? (forgives him, atones/cleanses his sin, uses Isaiah to speak His words to the people of Israel)
- Is Jesus or our sin more powerful? (Jesus)
- Song – “All Glory Be to Christ” by Kings Kaleidoscope
- Sermon – “Jesus, King of Kings” by Brody Holloway
- Sermon – “The Holiness of God” by Brody Holloway
Free Advent Bible Study (2023)
Let’s stand back and marvel at God’s grace and sovereignty, and focus on God this Christmas. May we join with the angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14).
Join this 25-day Advent journey as we worship Christ and celebrate his coming.
John Ragon is Snowbird’s website manager. He lives in Western NC with his wife and six amazing kids, and began serving at Snowbird in 2009 after graduating from Union University.
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