A Devotional for Advent
“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” –Luke 1:32
I confess my eye is frequently drawn to pictures of Britain’s royal family when they appear in the news. So, during this season of the coronavirus pandemic, I just couldn’t pass up the chance to watch a series titled “The Crown” on Netflix.
In case you haven’t heard of it, “The Crown” is the story of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. Anointed with holy oil at her coronation by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1953, each episode in the current four-season series gives us an inside glimpse into the Queen’s most triumphant and tragic moments as a monarch and as a woman.
But no title given to an earthly person could compare to the many titles given to the One we know as Jesus. For centuries before His birth, prophets foretold over one hundred royal titles that would identify Him. Titles that comfort, inspire, and bring us to our knees in awe: Prince of Peace, Messiah, King of Kings, Wonderful, Counselor, and many more.
“…you are to call him Jesus,” the angel announced to Mary (Luke 1:31b), the woman who would be His mother. In our Advent study this season at PLC, we’ll learn that in Hebrew, His name is Yeshua, and means “God saves,” “God delivers,” or “God helps.” It’s a name that points to His role and the purpose of the Incarnation. He came as God’s instrument of deliverance and salvation.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They clothed Him in a purple robe and went up to Him again and again, saying “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped Him in the face. –John 19:1-3
A coronation at the hands of Roman soldiers. Death like a common criminal. Yet, miracle of miracles, no grave could hold Him! Jesus truly is the King of the Jews, and all us Gentiles, too. Royalty today can’t compare to One so great, and yet so humble. And so, this Advent, we bow in adoration. This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing. Haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the Son of Mary.