As we read the creation history from chapter one of Genesis, we see that God created man on the sixth day in His own image. “God saw everything He had made, and behold it was very good.” (Gen 1:31)
Man was perfect, without sin or fault, heaven acceptable. The Lord God told man in a commandment what he may do and what he may not do. “Of every tree in the garden thou may freely eat; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen 2:16 and 17 )
In the third chapter of Genesis we read about the subtil serpent who beguiled God’s created man into sin. The death was a spiritual death by which man inherited sin and no longer was heaven acceptable.
The Apostle Paul writes of this to the Romans how “death passed upon all men, for all had sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
The Lord God did not cast away sin-fallen man, but promised a Savior. One who would pay the sin debt of man.
The Old Testament time is a time of promise. A Savior was promised and as many as believed that promise, their faith was accounted unto them for righteousness.
Thus began the time of Advent.
The word Advent comes from Latin meaning coming. Man began to await the fullfillment of that promise. God called prophets to speak unto the people of the promised Saviour.
They spoke as God revealed unto them through the Holy Spirit. They spoke of the coming Saviour, Jesus. As is written in the Book of Acts: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
The fullfillment of the promise came in the stable in Bethlehem. The Holy Ghost had revealed unto a man named Simeon, that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord Jesus.
Blessing God, he took the baby in his arms and said; “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” ( Luke 2: 29-30 )
Even as the Lord God promised, He sent His Son to do His will.
“For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak.” (John 12: 49) The Son was obedient unto the Father even on to death on the cross. The way of salvation was finished. “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, ‘ It is finished’ and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.” (John 19: 30)
Before Jesus was crucified He told His own: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am there ye may be also.”
A new time of Advent had begun. As the chosen of God awaited the birth of the Saviour according to the promise, God’s children today await the coming of Jesus again. As it was also during the first time of Advent, that need of repentance was preached, so it is in the second time of Advent, that the call from God’s kingdom is heard. As Jesus said: “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jeruselem.” ( Luke 24: 47 )
Pastor Reino Kuoppala serves the congregation at Laestadian Lutheran Church in Brainerd.