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Just The Right Time

The conductor stood on the podium, his eyes scanning the choir and orchestra. The singers arranged the music in their folders, found a comfortable position for standing, and held the folder where they could see the conductor just over the top. Orchestra members positioned their music on the stand, found a comfortable position in their seats, and then sat still. The conductor waited and watched until everyone was ready. Then, with a downbeat of his baton, the sounds of Handel’s “Overture to Messiah” filled the cathedral.

With the sound swirling around me, I felt I was immersed in Christmas—when God, at just the right moment, signaled the downbeat and set in motion an overture that started with the birth of the Messiah, the “High Priest of the good things to come” (Heb. 9:11).

Every Christmas, as we celebrate Christ’s first coming with glorious music, I’m reminded that God’s people, like choir and orchestra members, are getting ready for the next downbeat of the conductor when Christ will come again. On that day, we will participate with Him in the final movement of God’s symphony of redemption—making all things new (Rev. 21:5). In anticipation, we need to keep our eyes on the conductor and make sure we are ready.

Sound the soul-inspiring anthem,
Angel hosts, your harps attune;
Earth’s long night is almost over,
Christ is coming—coming soon! —Macomber
The advent of Christ celebrates His birth and anticipates His return.

One thought on “Just The Right Time

  1. doctor-perspective says:

    Chris Juby , a U.K. church worship leader recently tweeted the entire Bible – one chapter at a time, one day at a time This was his tweet for Hebrews 9. “The high priest enters the Most Holy Place once a year with blood. Christ entered the true holy place once for all by his own blood.”
    God the Son, Jesus Christ, doubles as High Priestly Mediator and Sacrifice. As High Priest, He offered the perfect Sacrifice, and so, did not have to repeat the sacrifice. As the Sacrifice, He laid down His own perfect, sinless life on the cross of Calvary. As Mediator, He now stands between God and man and, not only makes intercession on our behalf, but is the ever present living evidence that the penalty for our sin has been fully paid.

    The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. “For I am the LORD, I do not change;” (Malachi 3:6). Neither has man changed from Old Testament days to the present. Under the Old Testament, our outstanding characteristic was sin. “Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) Today we are as sinful as ever, and some may say, even more sinful. Truly, on our own, we all stand condemned under the accusation, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
    A covenant is between at least two persons, and in this case it would be God and man. Because God has not changed, and because man has not changed, there is no logical reason to expect the Covenant between God and man to have changed. The wages of sin has always been death, and the wages of sin is still death. What makes the New Testament or Covenant different, is that under it, the full price for all sin has been fully paid. The receipt, with benefits, is freely available to whosoever will accept it, compliments of Jesus Christ.

    Because God loved the man He created, the Holy God had from the inception of sin, devised a way for man to renew our fellowship with Him through the shedding of blood, without which there can be no forgiveness of sin. (Hebrews 9:22) Although no formal sacrifice was recorded, an animal had to be killed after Adam and Eve sinned, and it was with the skin of that sacrificed animal that God covered their nakedness of which they became aware after they had disobeyed God (Genesis 3:21). It is worthy of note that God did not approve of Adam and Eve’s attempt to cover themselves, and the chances are that, neither did they. Adam and Eve, upon discovering that they were naked, sewed destructible fig leaves and made themselves apron-like girdles or loin cloths that would have to be replaced ever so often. Compare that to what God made for them; tunics or tall coats of animal skin, and perhaps leather.

    Even in this early demonstration of God’s grace, what was to follow was being previewed. The Mosaic law and the entire elaborate animal sacrifice routine represented the best that man could do on his own account and by his own effort. It all represented “fig-leaves”… and the sacrifices had to be repeated, over and over again. True, animals had to be sacrificed, but no perfect animal could be found. Sheep were to be of the first year, and “without blemish”. Those were impossible to find because the healthiest of sheep would have had to eat the grass that grew out of the ground that was cursed.

    Under the Old Covenant, it was obedience to the letter of the sacrificial laws that procured for man a claim to God’s salvation, but only after it had been adequately funded by the sinless blood of the perfect sacrifice. Today, our sins are fully paid for, but the unchanging God still requires obedience to his commandments. Today, it is not our obedience that will purchase our salvation. It is our purchased salvation that should produce our obedience. If we love the One who loved us and redeemed us, we will obey Him. (John 14:15)

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