Monday’s post presented the reality of God becoming human. We call it the Incarnation. During Advent it is remembered as the first coming of Christ. The second coming Advent celebrates is also unique. It has the potential to permanently change you.
The essence of Advent’s second coming
Because God became human he was able to die. This wasn’t something that could happen if He had remained only a spirit. Bodies are necessary in order to die, and God needed to die. As Nora Gallagher reminds us, “To get resurrected, ya gotta get dead.”
“The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that he might offer up his life as a sacrifice for the sins of men,” states Rev. Billy Graham. “He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas.”
The reality of Advent’s second coming
I don’t think we can comprehend how great a sacrifice this birth and death really are. In both cases God eternally alters himself—first through being birthed in a body and then by experiencing death. Jesus, the God/man, has permanently confined himself to a human body—a resurrected body, yes, but a human body none the less. And it was in this human body that death, something God had never experienced, became his personal reality. To prove it, Jesus still has the death scars on his chest, hands, and feet (see John 20:24-29).
The purpose of Advent’s second coming
Yet, through His birth, death, and resurrection Jesus established a new covenant between us and God—a covenant where God promises us eternal life, comes to live in us, and commits himself to forming us into his likeness if we are willing to submit ourselves to the process.
This New Covenant—established through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection—is the second coming that Advent remembers. God comes and lives in us!
It is because of this coming that you can never say, “I will never change. My circumstances will never change.” If God can be born as a human, live as a human, die as a human, rise again, and live in you, he can certainly change you. And if you change, your circumstances will be altered.
How have you personally experienced this second coming celebrated in Advent? How has your life been changed by the One Who Came? I’d love to hear your story.
In Him together, Susan Gaddis