Sunday, 02 December 2007 00:00

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

A music principle worth remember: You end up believing what you spend time singing. In popular music, "backward masking" incorrectly refers to "backmasking," or hiding messages in sound recordings that are audible when played backward. Why do we care about hidden messages when it is the message you hear that affects you? One of the reasons I listen to Christmas music year round is because of the theology (the knowledge of God) in the carols; the incarnation of Christ, the transformation of lives, the culmination of history.

  1. This verse begins with prophetic declaration—"Come, thou long- expected Jesus".
    The reason you can trust your Bible is because it is filled with fulfilled predictions. Jesus is the long-expected Messiah. For hundreds of years Israel looked to His coming. From the very beginning when God said to Satan, "Her seed shall crush your head and you shall bruise His heel" (Genesis 3:15), Israel expected the coming of the Messiah.
    1. In the Passover the blood on the doorframe pointed to the death of another (Exodus 12).
    2. On Mt. Sinai, the law led Israel to place their faith in God's mercy (Exodus 20:24).
    3. In the wilderness God provided manna prefiguring the True Bread (John 6:32).
    4. When Moses lifted up the serpent for healing, it portrayed Calvary (John 3:14).
    5. When God gave instructions for the Tabernacle and Temple, it portrayed Christ.
      1. This Christ would be betrayed for 30 piece of silver (Zechariah 11:12).
      2. Forsaken by his disciples (Zechariah 13:7).
      3. And beaten and scourged (Micah 5:1).
      4. He would die on a cross (Psalm 22).
      5. Numbered among thieves (Isaiah 53:12).
      6. His garments would be parted (Psalm 22:18).
      7. And he would be given vinegar to drink (Psalm 22:13).
      8. He would die abandoned by God (Psalm 22:1).

      All this matches Jesus Christ.

  2. This verse moves to personal application—"Born to set thy people free"
    What is it that His people will be set free from though Jesus Christ coming to earth?
    1. From our fears... when you come to know Christ personally, fears flee. Fear from death, despair (or lack of purpose), and defeat are vanquished.
    2. From our sins... it is not just the punishment of sin (which is completely gone), but it is also freedom from the practice and presence of sin. How? In essence, Jesus Christ fills the joy of your longing heart with a greater joy.
  3. This verse ends with a powerful invitation—"Let us find our rest... in Thee".
    It is Christ's coming to the heart that brings rest; not a doctor, a priest, or a preacher. This invitation for Christ to come is not only the end of the verse, it is the first word. "Come..." It is possible for a person to know of Christ but never ask Him to come. When a person simply asks the long-expected Jesus to come into one's life and take control, there enters a peace and a rest that will surpass all of your understanding.

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