The Covenant’s Faithful Messenger

2021 Christmas Advent Day 11: The Messenger of The Covenant visits His people

  • Main Passage: Mark 1:1-3
    • The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, The Son of God; as it is written in the prophets, behold, I send my messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of The Lord, make His paths straight.
  • In order to fully understand this prophecy Mark quotes, we must view it from the Old Testament. It is actually a combination of two prophecies. One is found in Isaiah 40:3-5, and the other in Malachi 3:1.
    • “…The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of The Lord, make His paths straight…”
      • The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of The LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of The LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of The LORD hath spoken it.
    • “…behold, I send my messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee…”
      • Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of The Covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith The LORD of Hosts.” [Malachi 3:1]
  • There are many things here which show us the glory of Jesus. One such thing is a title given to Him in Malachi. Malachi says “The Lord” who will come to “His temple” is “the Messenger of the Covenant.” Jesus is the messenger of the new covenant. Jesus had come as The Father’s representative. In fact, Jesus, who is God, had come to faithfully proclaim God’s character and message of salvation; He was the perfect messenger. In Revelation, He is called “The Faithful Witness” [Revelation 1:5] and Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the person whom God has chosen, “in these last days,” to speak to us through. [Hebrews 1:1-2] The Father Himself testifies to this in the gospel of Matthew, who urges the disciples, “this is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” [Matthew 17:5] And again, in John, John tells us that “The Only Begotten Son, [who] is in the bosom of The Father, He hath declared [God to us].” [John 1:18]
    • And we see that the covenant being spoken of is the New Covenant, for at the time of Malachi’s writing, God had already appeared to Israel and confirmed with them a covenant, giving them the law through angels. Jesus is the messenger to us of The New Covenant which the prophets gave witness to. This covenant is an “everlasting covenant” and a “covenant of peace.” [Jeremiah 32:40, Ezekiel 37:26] Jesus has come to fulfil the promise of this covenant: He is our One Shepherd, our King, who gathers us as His flock to God [Ezekiel 34:23; 31; 37:22; 24]; taking us out from the world and into His family as His people, He being our God. [Jeremiah 32:37, Ezekiel 36:24; 37:27] Jesus allows us to be completely forgiven, having all our sins forgotten by The Father [Jeremiah 31:34]; and He also grants us a heart to fear God that we not depart from Him or His way. [Jeremiah 32:39-40] Jesus opens to us the great promises of this covenant. He makes it possible for God to be known, for us to receive new hearts and new spirits which live out God’s righteous and holy word, for us to intimately know God as individuals, [Jeremiah 31:34, Ezekiel 36:26, Jeremiah 31:33; 34] for us to experience true purity and victory over sin with fruitfulness, [Ezekiel 36:27; 29-35; 37:23-24] for God to be our own personal sanctuary [Ezekiel 11:16], and perhaps most glorious of all is that through Jesus God’s very person will dwell within us forever. [Ezekiel 37:26-28]
      • New Covenant passages: Jeremiah 31:31-34; 32:37-41, Ezekiel 11:16-20 34:23-31; 36:21-38; 37:21-28
  • For thousands of years people were dead in sin; yes, many beautiful saints were saved, but they were dead in sin: unable to have victory, for victory cannot come under the law but only under grace. For thousands of years people longed for and hoped for the Messiah, and it was not until around 500 or so years before Jesus’ birth that God even promised a new covenant. For all those long millennia men and women of God set their hope in God, who promised to crush the serpents head through Messiah, freeing us from the bondage and corruption created by our sin. And by this virtue they were saved, for they hoped in the seed, they hoped in Jesus though they knew Him not by name. What an awesome God we have, so unlike man, who did not provide us with a good-looking, blonde-haired, muscular Messiah coming down to earth with great show and pomp; but what glories are shown to us, what depths of meekness and humility, that God would choose The Messenger of this glorious and long-awaited covenant, which would unshackle all mankind from death and sin and the law, to be a child born into a feeding trough!! What an awesome God we have indeed!

Questions for Day 11

  1. The New Covenant promises are not hidden away behind a veil anymore: they are open to all who would come through Jesus. Have you come through Jesus? If so, have you taken hold of the promises? Are they visible in your life? They are free for the taking, that Jesus’ joy might be fulfilled in us and overflowing, all to God’s glory. What New Covenant promise do you see or not see in your life?
  2. After meditating upon the glories of Jesus in His role as The Messenger of the Covenant, as shown to us in Malachi, what does it do? Does it provoke you to love? To pure devotion? Thanksgiving? Etc…?

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