Advent….the Arrival. The season we set aside to prepare our hearts and slow our souls and spirits down. So we can…Reflect. Rest. Renew. Rejoice in our Savior, Jesus. All the rushing and impatience of NOW! causes us to miss the joy of the moment. As Christmas approaches, let’s be intentional to stop, slow down and soak in the presence of Jesus – Immanuel, God with us. His presence renews, refreshes and enables us to rejoice in the ALL the moments of this often harried and hurried season.
Let’s commit to being intentional this season and not allow the hurried and harried NOW! attitude rob us of the joy and peace Jesus has for us in the moment.
His Name IS Advent Devotion: DAY 2
Yesterday we began with Zechariah 9:9. Let’s explore further today what we can learn from this prophecy of Jesus’ life and how it still impacts us today.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem.
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
“Behold, your king is coming to you…” this is the phrase that hit me as I read this verse. Behold is a great word in the Old Testament.
Behold – hinneh (H2009) – an interjection meaning to behold, look, now; to lay eyes upon or see with attention. It is used often and expresses strong feelings, surprise, hope, expectation, certainty, thus giving vividness depending on its surrounding context. It is used to call attention to something. It is a call to realize something God or others have done. (Complete Word Study Bible Dictionary)
It translates something like this, “Hey! Check this out! Sit up and pay attention! Look! Behold!”
What are you beholding right now? What is looming large in your view? What has your attention, your focus and your energies?
The verse goes on to tell us our King IS coming and He IS righteousness and salvation. One of our cross-reference verses from yesterday expounds on this further:
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness. —Jeremiah 23:5-6
We see that word “Behold!” once again. We find Jesus described as a righteous Branch, reigning king and one who deals wisely, executes justice and righteousness. But what exactly is righteousness? Righteousness is right and acceptable behavior in the sight of God. It is a right standing before God. The Bible’s standard of human righteousness is God’s own perfection in every attribute, every attitude, every behavior, and every word. On the cross, Jesus was treated as if he were a sinner, though he was perfectly holy and pure, and we are treated as if we were righteous, though we are defiled and depraved. Therefore, as Jeremiah states, The Lord is our righteousness! We cannot attain this on our own. We will always fall miserably short.
Jesus’ presence is a place of salvation and security. He has secured our righteousness and our salvation. Oh how I need to know that on a daily basis! I can live in peace and with joy because He has secured my freedom! He has rescued, delivered and saved me from my sins. He has set my feet in a spacious place where I am free to rejoice.
This is huge for me! I spent so many years living in bondage to the sin in my life, a captive carrying the weight and burden of sin every day —to the point there were days when I felt as if I could not breathe. When Jesus set me free, not on the basis of my works or right living but solely because of who He is, it was like stepping into a spacious place where I could breathe! I need to live with the daily reminder that I am a sinner who has been saved by God’s grace. Jesus took my place. He is my righteousness. He gives me right standing before a holy God. This is good news for me every day, especially on those days when I don’t feel like I am enough and my efforts seem to fall short. I don’t have to try harder or work harder. On my own I can never be perfect in every attitude, behavior and word. But I have a Savior who is my righteousness. He teaches and models for me a righteous attitude, behavior and words. God has given me His Spirit to indwell me and to convict, lead and guide me in all truth. Jesus —my righteousness—meets me right where I am, regardless of where I find myself! Only HE can meet my deepest needs! Only HE knows my deepest hurts and disappointments! Only HE can satisfy my desires and longings! Only HE can give me the peace, joy, purpose and contentment that I seek in life!
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. —Isaiah 53:5
If you find yourself carrying extra burdens, struggling in your sin, striving to attain what only Jesus can provide, then Behold! His words to us:
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. —Matthew 11:28-30
And remember to be intentional today —to Behold Him! Worship Him! —Immanuel, God with us!
God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. —1 Corinthians 1:28-31
Remember: Rest. Reflect. Renew. Rejoice…in Jesus’ presence!
The post was originally published on Get Real in December 2014.
©2014, Susan Cady, Get Real