Will you wait for Him?

Message for June 2019

My dear youth,
I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask that His blessings, love, and guidance be upon you in abundance.

From the throne to the manger
Today I invite you to reflect on the text of Philippians 2:7, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
It has always been said that moving from evil to good, that is, from a life of poverty and deprivation to a life of abundance, is easier than the other way around. In fact, little or nothing is heard of men or women of high social positions who renounce everything to change it for a life of need. The matter becomes more complex when we talk about kings or presidents of governments of great
nations or the magnates of the business world. Who is willing to leave his exalted position voluntarily? I don’t think any.

However, dear youth, the Bible presents the most sublime and incredible story that has ever been told in relation to the resignation of the most exalted Being in the Universe, I mean the Lord Jesus Christ, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor…” 2 Corinthians 8:9. Here, the apostle Paul declares and reveals the most
extraordinary act that has happened on this planet since its existence: the Incarnation of Christ.

The coming of Christ to this world was announced and expected since the fall of the human being into sin. Adam and Eve received this promise and transmitted this “blessed hope” as Paul calls it in Titus 2:13, to their descendants, although the apostle in this text mentions the second coming of the Lord Jesus. The first coming was a fact longed for by the children of God. For centuries the
patriarchs, prophets, and men and women of faith proclaimed this event. Note that this revelation of extraordinary nature, not only declares to us why Christ was going to come to this world, but spoke of his character and attributes. The above-mentioned text of Titus tells us that He who would come to this world is “our great God” and “Savior Jesus Christ.” It was not a creature created
by God with the goal of “fixing” a problem that competed for divinity. Let us keep in mind that God had been accused by one of his angels of being arbitrary, hard and partial in his government, that his Law was unfulfilled and that no one could submit to His requirements. Was the Great Legislator going to send a creature of His, created by Him, to show face? Only the Author of the Law could prove that His commandments were holy, righteous, and good, as He says in Romans 7:12.

How? Humanizing and submitting to obedience! Christ, the second Person of the divinity, took upon Himself the responsibility, for love of us, of incarnating and placing Himself at the level of the human being. He left His royal throne to exchange it for a manger; He left his heavenly family to change it for a humble and poor earthly family; He left the adoration of the angels and the glory that He had with the Father, in exchange for the contempt of the humans he had come to save that had degenerated for four thousand years. Isn’t it hard to understand this? This is the mystery of mysteries: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8.

Once again Paul confirms the deity of Jesus when he says that the Savior “did not estimate being equal to God.” Other versions say: “but He did not take advantage of being equal to God” or “although Christ was always equal to God, He did not insist on that equality.” We clearly see that Christ was not a simple man but God incarnate, so He is presented in the scriptures when His first coming was announced: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23.
What a wonder of wonders! God Himself, in the divine person of His Son Jesus, also God, became man. This is what terribly bothered Jews who did not accept the divinity of the Lord Jesus. This was their argument: “… for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” John 10:33.

The redemption of the human being
And what was the objective of all this surrender? Paul explains it in the same context where he says that Christ is God and that He came to this earth to “redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14. Dear youth, are you not touched by the self-denial of Christ? No one on this earth will ever love us in the same way. No one will ever do for us something so big, deep, and ineffablef like what our Savior did. Wouldn’t our heart have to be moved so that we would surrender to the feet of the One who gave his life to redeem us? When the prophetic moment arrived, Christ became a man and was born in Bethlehem, but how many were waiting for Him? Almost nobody. Isn’t it something amazing? It is not that people were atheistic and did not believe anything that the Hebrew scriptures announced. No. On the contrary, thousands claimed to be worshipers of the true God and proclaimed to the four winds their hope that the Messiah announced in the prophecies would manifest Himself. In the temple the rituals that pointed to the coming of the Savior were performed day after day, but it was all cold, mechanical, lifeless, dead rituals, the result of which was spiritual apathy.

The first coming of Jesus was verified two thousand years ago and only a group of shepherds who looked after their flocks in the hills of Bethlehem were informed by angels of God, that the Messiah was born. Likewise, some wise men from the East who studied the Hebrew prophecies and who had real interest in knowing when the most glorious event in this world would materialize, they were guided to the manger where they found the child wrapped in swaddling clothes. When they saw Him they worshiped Him and also brought Him presents. And we? And you and I? Are we prepared to receive the Lord Jesus at His second coming? Are we waiting for Him?

Dear young people, there is a danger in which we can get used to talking about the coming of Jesus, to quote the biblical texts that announce it once and a thousand times, but fall into a routine that numbs our spiritual senses. Many Christian churches have already stopped proclaiming the imminent second coming of Christ in glory and majesty. Believers are adjusting to their quiet lives
and the desire for the Savior to return with His myriad angels to end human suffering is blurring the Christian horizon. Could it be that we are really waiting for Him? Are we preparing for this event? Let it be so.

José Vicente Giner
Pastor and Director of the Youth Department General Conference

For reflection:
1. Why did hardly anyone expect Jesus at his first coming?
2. Was there missing evidence, data, or information on this matter?
3. What does it mean that Jesus became man?
4. Are we waiting for Christ’s second coming?
5. What can we do to quicken it?