Most of us who have nicknames didn’t receive them at birth, but they were given to us later on. It might have been because of a memorable incident, or even a character trait that we are known for.
But think about Jesus. Even before His first Advent, He was given numerous “nicknames” or titles that foretold what He was going to do. In the Christmas carol “O Come O Come Emmanuel” four of Christ’s nicknames/titles are key for us today.
It’s so important for us to look back at these First Advent titles because they give us perspective for today and hope for Christ’s Second Advent.
Paul makes it clear that we are living in a time of both already and not yet. We have redemption (Ephesians 1:7), and we are waiting for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). Jesus has already paid for our freedom (First Advent), but we are still awaiting the rewards that will come with His Second Advent.
O come, O come…
Literally, this means “God is with His people.” The prophesy was originally given to the prophet Isaiah (see 7:14 and 8:6-10), but it was repeated when Jesus was born (Matthew 1:23). Only One Who was fully God and fully Man could pay the price for our ransom from sin.
- …Rod of Jesse
David, the son of Jesse, prayed, “Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that You have brought me this far?” (2 Samuel 7:18). Yet God was going to continue to keep David’s family line alive (although at times it looked like the dead stump of a long-forgotten tree) to give a throne to Jesus as the King of kings that would once and for all crush satan’s tyranny.
When I think of Dayspring, I think of light exploding immediately into the darkness (Isaiah 9:2 and Luke 1:77-78). Jesus Himself told us of His victory over the darkness: I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you] (John 16:33, AMP).
- …Key of David
Only Jesus holds the key to open wide our heavenly home (Isaiah 22:22; Revelation 1:8)!
What do you need?
- Ransom? Emmanuel paid it!
- Power to defeat satan? The Rod of Jesse gives it!
- Encouragement to press on? The Dayspring lavishes it!
- Assurance of your eternal home in Heaven? The Key of David opens it!
All our longings—all our O come! O come!—are satisfied in Jesus. His First Advent is the already, and His Second Advent gives us hope for the not yet.
Check out some of the other Carols of Christmas we are looking at this year.