“Therefore you too have grief now, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”John 16:22
Somebody has said when Jesus came to earth the first time, He came veiled in the form of a child. But one day when Jesus comes again, He will be recognized by everyone. The first time Jesus came, a star marked His arrival. The next time Jesus comes, all of heaven will be lit by His glory. The first time Jesus came, only a few attended His arrival, but the next time Jesus comes, every eye shall see Him. The first time Jesus came, He came as a baby. But the next time Jesus comes, He will come as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Ultimately our only hope in this world is that one day Jesus Christ is coming back.
Maybe you’re having trouble today really entering into the celebration of Christmas. The pain or uncertainty you feel right now is real, but it’s also temporary. One day Jesus is coming back again. And when He comes back, He is going to put an end to suffering because He’s going to put an end to the author of suffering—Satan himself.
The return of Jesus Christ is our only hope in this world. The first time Jesus came, He came as Savior of the world. The next time Jesus comes, He is coming as judge of all the world. The first time Jesus came, He offered salvation. The next time Jesus comes, He’s coming to offer condemnation. The coming of Jesus will be a great moment of rejoicing for those of us who know Him.
One of my favorite lyrics that we sing at this time of the year is, “Joy to the world the Lord is come.” Most people don’t know that this song was never intended to be a Christmas carol. There are no mentions of angels, Bethlehem, and a star. When Isaac Watts wrote that hymn in 1719, he was writing not about the first coming of Jesus—he was writing it about the second coming of Jesus. This song was based on Psalm 98:9 that says, “For the Lord cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness, He shall judge the world.”
Jesus is coming back. On this Christmas day, that is the hope of every one of us who is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. And as a sign of our anticipation about the soon return of Jesus Christ, may we meditate on the lyrics of the great hymn, “Joy to the World.”
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing.
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.
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.
Jesus is coming back again, and that is the ultimate truth of the Christmas story. Are you ready? On this Christmas day when we are giving and receiving gifts, may we not forget to celebrate the greatest gift of all and eagerly anticipate His return.