READ: Zechariah 6, John 21, 1 John 2
SIGNS AND WONDERS OF GOD
In the mad rush of ministry that puts its hope in dramatic signs and wonders, we are in danger of missing the wonder of the great signs of God. There is no healing or miracle that can match the awesome and sequential surprises of Christ’s incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and triumphant return to rule and reign. Each of these magnificent signs stuns us, and just as we reel and rock to comprehension, another sign smashes into our spirit. God scandalizes the cosmos by becoming man and in His condescension dignifies humanity forever. Just as we come to terms with God becoming man, the divine Son dies on a cross. Our eyes open to this wonder just in time for the resurrection to make us fall to the ground in shock. We barely recover from that bolt from heaven when Jesus ascends to the right hand of God–another unexpected master-stroke of God. And now we stand unready to be surprised again at the triumphant and terminal return of the King. Our finite souls can hardly bear to just nibble at the edges of the feast of wondrous God. As the advent season approaches its zenith, we must wonder again at the initial sign and wonder that started this shocking sequence: God with us, God coming down to dwell with humanity.
Jesus Came. When man went astray, God came seeking him (Psalm 119:176). We do not bear the sole or even the primary responsibility of finding God. God takes the initiative to find us. The incarnation is God pursuing us, pursuing us all the way to this mud hole of earth. The incarnation is God leaving what is comfortable and getting down and dirty so He can find us. The incarnation is God leaving the sanitary zone and climbing down in a pit toilet to swim in the sewage looking for something (for someones) of infinite less worth than Himself. The incarnation is wonderfully horrible. It should continue to stun and amaze us.
Jesus Is Coming. The incarnation also gives us hope, for Jesus comes to us again and again. John 21:1 says, “He showed Himself again.” John 21:14 notes that this was “the third time Jesus showed Himself.” Over and over again Jesus comes to us. Jesus carries the responsibility of finding us. Yes, we seek Him, but we seek Him as a response to His seeking us. Jesus takes on the responsibility for my heart and spirit. Oh, the holy humility of Jesus who continues to pursue us. “Oh, come to my heart Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for Thee!”
Jesus Will Come Again. First John 2:28 encourages us to abide in Jesus that when He appears (Greek: phanerothe), we might be confident and unashamed before Him “at His coming.” The Greek word for “appears” comes from the verb “to reveal.” Jesus is coming again in glory and He will finally, fully reveal Himself. Every time Jesus comes to us and we sense His presence, it is a foretaste of that great day, like the hymn says, “when He shall come resplendent in His glory.” And to that we say, “Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus.” Come complete your wondrous signs.