Advent 1 - The Mountain
by Dr Gregory Magruder | December 1, 2019
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Gainesville, FL 12/01/19
INTRODUCTION: The Christmas season is the time of Advent. Advent means “coming.” The prophets of old predicted that the Messiah would come. God’s people anticipated his coming. We lit the first Advent candle, the Prophet’s Candle or the Candle of Hope, on the Advent wreath this morning. Christmas celebrates the promised coming of God in the flesh through his son Jesus the Messiah. Christmas also anticipates the time when Jesus will come again and establish his eternal kingdom. Advent is the promise of hope for a troubled world. The prophet Isaiah uses the image of a mountain to picture this hope. Just like the mystery of a river flowing up the mountain, the Messiah will bring peace and hope to a violent and divided world. We find this image in Isaiah 2:1-5.
MESSIAH WILL DRAW ALL NATIONS TO THE MOUNTAIN.
*The new Jerusalem will one day rest on the holy mountain and all people will come to worship the Lord. “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it” (Isaiah 2:1-2).
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God (Revelation 21:10).
*The same mountain that Abraham offered his son to be sacrificed is the same mountain that God offered his son Jesus to be crucified. Jesus’ sacrifice draws all people to himself for salvation. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die” (John 12:32-33).
*People from every nation will stand before Jesus in heaven. I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9).
MESSIAH’S WORD WILL TRANSFORM THE NATIONS.
*People will flow like a river to Jerusalem to hear the Word of the Lord. “Many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).
*Jesus was God’s Word in the flesh and people heard his teaching and believed in him as the Messiah. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth...For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:1-17).
MESSIAH WILL BRING LASTING PEACE TO THE WORLD.
*Messiah will instruct the nations and settle disputes. He will bring a lasting peace that no longer requires weapons of war. “He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).
*True peace will only come under the rule of the Prince of Peace. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:7).
*Only Jesus Christ can bring genuine and permanent peace because he is the promised Messiah. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
*We receive personal peace when we put our trust in Jesus the Messiah. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
THEREFORE, WALK IN THE LIGHT OF THE LORD.
*We have a future hope of peace on earth. Since we have the truth of God’s Word and the peace of Christ in our hearts, we are to work to make that future hope a current reality. “O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5).