This is the time of year that we busily prepare for the Christmas holiday season: Shopping for gifts, attending parties, programs, and family gatherings, making those Christmas treats and planning meals, sending Christmas cards, and the like. But there’s another kind of preparation that I dare say few consider. And even then, I wonder how many take it as seriously as those other holiday preparations.
What I am getting at has to do with a Bible prophecy that goes back around 700 years before Jesus was born:
A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
The New Testament connection
Matthew 3:3 (NASB)
For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!’”
John 1:29 (NASB)
The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ who prepared the people for his coming. The fact that John recognized Jesus as the One for whom he was clearing the way indicates that Jesus is the true Messiah prophesied in the scriptures. John’s message included repentance for the forgiveness of sins in preparation for the kingdom of God.
Isaiah’s reference to “a voice is calling” in the wilderness connects the fact that John fulfills that voice which echoes the salvation of Jesus, God’s Lamb “who takes away the sin of the world.” Beyond question, Jesus is the One of whom John is speaking. Even before Jesus was born, John’s mother, Elizabeth, who was already in her sixth month of pregnancy, greeted Mary with a blessing that the One she had conceived would be “a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord,” (Luke 1:45).
Like the Christmas song says, “Let every heart prepare him room.” John’s mission to prepare the way for Christ reflects the way we prepare for him to come. Jesus was born at his first advent to take away our sins so that we could be ready for him to return at his second advent when he establishes God’s everlasting kingdom on earth.
Faith in Jesus as the Messiah of God, and Saviour of our lives; repentance for the forgiveness of our sins; and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ starts us on a pathway that gets us ready for that Day when Jesus will give eternal life to all believers. The Spirit-filled life is what enables us to experience true joy, peace, and hope which comes to mind especially at this Christmas time. (Galatians 5:22-23.)
We do not want to forget that while we prepare for the holiday season, that we are also spiritually prepared for his second advent at the Glorious Age to come!
Good News to you!