Sunday, December 16, 2007

Advent 2007: Week 3

LEFC Family Advent Readings
Advent Week #3: Joy To the World, the Lord Has Come
“From Sorrow to Joy”
Isaiah 53:3 & Hebrews 12:2
December 16, 2007

"Advent” means “coming.” Christmas is coming. Jesus has come and is coming again.

This Advent season, we are preparing our hearts for Christmas by contemplating the differences between Jesus’ first coming and His second coming.


In His first advent, Jesus came in surprising humility. In His second advent, He will come with full majesty.


In His first advent, very few worshiped Him. At His second advent, every knee will bow.


When Jesus came the first time, He came to a life filled with sorrow. But when He returns, He will be full of glorious joy and bring amazing joy to His people.

The prophecy of Isaiah 53 says that Jesus would be “despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.”

After He was born in Bethlehem, Jesus lived as a refugee in Egypt. When He became a man, He was chased around by crowds, persecuted by religious leaders, and crucified for crimes He did not commit.

Jesus knew suffering and sorrow. But He also knew that it was worth it!

[Read Hebews 12:2.]

For the glorious joy set before Him, Jesus endured the Cross.

And when He returns, Jesus will bring joy to His people!

Isaiah prophesied of that day: “Gladness and joy will overtake God’s people. Sorrow and sighing will fee away.”

May this candle remind us to fix our eyes on Jesus and to anticipate Joy to the World, because the Lord is Coming. Amen.

Advent Bible Study for Families

1. Read Isaiah 53 which predicts Jesus’s life and death and resurrection 800 years before His first advent. List all of the words and phrases that focus on sorrow and sad things. Why did Jesus have to know such sorrow? List all of the words and phrases that talk about His victory and joy, as well.

2. Re-read Hebrews 12:2. What do you think was the “joy set before Him?” How did it make it possible for Jesus to endure the Cross? Why should we “fix our eyes” on Jesus? How do we do that?

3. Have different family members read these passages: Isaiah 51:1-11, Jude 24-25, and Revelation 21:1-5. These are all predictions of the future, when Jesus returns and makes all things right. What do these texts say about sorrow and joy?

4. What sorrows are your family going through right now? How does the truth of Jesus’ advents affect your perspective and attitude to your trials?

5. As a family, sing Joy to the World, the Christmas Carol by Isaac Watts. Joy to the World is actually more about Jesus’ second advent than His first:

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.