The prominent color associated with Advent is purple, the color of royalty. The Christmas season, for the Christian, looks forward to the coming of Christ as King.
But who needs Jesus? Why do we need a King? Isn’t our own president and other government leaders enough? Obviously they aren’t and it doesn’t matter what their political affiliation. The lowly Babe in the manger was a King. But who needs Him? And why?
Yet again, we start in Genesis. This time in 49:10. The patriarch, Jacob, right before his death, prophesied concerning his son Judah that a King would come from his line. The implication is that this King is one to whom the nations of the earth will give their obedience.
As the nation of Israel grew, eventually there came a king from Judah’s line: David. God made a special covenant with David (kind of like He did with Abraham as we saw last week). Of importance is that God promised to keep David’s house and line running forever. The true king of Israel would be a descendant of David (see 2 Samuel 7:16).
This gave the people a special kind of confidence. If we have an eternal line of kings slotted for us, heck, God’s never going to boot us out or let anything bad happen! But their confidence was somewhat unfounded. Subsequent kings failed to honor the LORD as David did and instead led the nation into idolatry and rebellion against God.
Then came the prophets. These guys started talking crazy talk. They claimed that God was talking to them, that He wasn’t too pleased with their dishonorable lifestyles, and that He was about to punish them by removing them from the land. That would include the king…the guy in David’s line.
But in the midst of all this doom-and-gloom preaching, they also held out a tiny candlelight of hope. They said that although God was going to clear them out, Someone from David’s line would eventually arise in David’s place and claim the throne in such a way that it seems to be the same Person Jacob prophesied about all those years before.
Just see the connection the prophets made about this coming Messiah and David’s throne: Isaiah 9:6-7-the government will be His responsibility as He sits on David’s throne; Jeremiah 23:5-6-this King in David’s line will reign in a wise and righteous manner..in stark contrast to the kings of the prophet’s day; Ezekiel 37:21-28-the King (called “David” himself) will establish peace among God’s people forever; Micah 5:2-5a-promised coming of the King who will rule as God’s Man and the whole earth will know it; Zechariah 9:9-10-this King is again portrayed as righteous and peaceful, bringing peace to the earth.
This is just a smattering of passages (though very important ones) that connect a coming Messiah with David’s line. It’s important to note the common theme of this King being a source of righteousness. There’s something about this Man…something perfect.
Enter Jesus. He came from David’s line (see Matthew 1), his birth was heralded by angels (see Luke 2), and later celebrated with royal gifts by royal men (see Matthew 2). Jesus had not just the human pedigree but the divine as well. He came fulfilling the prophecies made about the future King from David’s line. Most significantly, and this why we need Jesus, He died to take God’s punishment on our sin and give us His righteousness. This King of righteousness gave us His righteousness! Think about that! I’d say that’s a pretty good reason to need Jesus, wouldn’t you?
Now some may look at those passages mentioned above and note that they aren’t totally fulfilled. And you’re right, they’re not. Part of the Christmas season is meant to turn our eyes toward Christ’s Second Coming or Advent. In fact, did you know that the classic carol “Joy to the World” is actually about Christ’s second coming? This gives us great hope. If the Righteous King has already made one appearance, we can be sure He’ll make another and that those many prophecies will have their final fulfillment then. Read through the passages, drink them in deep. Let the hope and longing fill your heart and always remember and look for the coming of this Righteous King.