On this first Sunday of Advent, how could I not think back to ancient Israel longing for the promised Messiah? And I grieve that, when He came, most of them failed to recognize Him. Yet He did come, offering salvation to Jew and Gentile alike.
He lived a sinless life, only to offer Himself to be executed as a common criminal. Yes...He voluntarily allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross, where He shed His blood to atone for the sins of all who believe in Him. On the third day, He rose again, signifying that God the Father had accepted His sacrifice.
Now His followers await His Second Advent, when He will gather us to our heavenly Home. At last, His true Israel (those Jews and Gentiles who trusted exclusively in His shed blood for our righteousness) will experience the satisfaction of our longing. Like ancient Israel, we now pray for Emmanuel to come.