“‘Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
Oh, we’re getting near to the very end of the Old Testament. These are the last two chapters, Malachi chapter three and four. And Malachi three begins with this promise, that the Old Testament will ultimately close with, “‘Behold, I send my messenger, he will prepare the way before me.'”
In this passage, Malachi prophesies about a man who will make the way for Jesus, John the Baptist.
So God’s saying, “I will send a messenger to prepare the way for my coming.” But we know, just to jump ahead, in the story of Christmas is the birth of John the Baptist, the messenger who prepares the way for the coming of Jesus. And then verse one in Malachi chapter three says, “‘And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple,'” the Lord God will come to you, “‘and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
What a promise, that God on high will not leave a world of sinners alone, that he will come to us, the God we seek, the God we need, the God who reigns as Lord over all. Just look around you today, the God who created the world and everything in it, the God who created the world and every person in it, the good, glorious, majestic sovereign creator over all will come to you. This is the wonder. This is the beauty of Christmas. This baby, born in a manger is God come to us, God in the flesh, who has come to save a world of sinners from ourselves and from the judgment we deserve. God has come to us to live the life we couldn’t live, a life of perfect obedience and sinless righteousness, and Jesus never once sinning.
And then, though he had no sin to die for, no judgment deserving of death in his life, he chose to die on a cross to pay the price for the sins of all who would trust in him. And then he rose from the dead in victory over sin and death and the grave, and made eternal life possible for everyone who trusts in him.
Oh God, we praise you for not leaving a world of sinners, surrounded by suffering and death, alone. God, we praise you for coming to us, for loving us enough to take on a robe of human flesh, Jesus, to humble yourself. And though being in the very nature God, not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but making yourself nothing, being made in the form of a servant in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, you humbled yourself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. All glory be to your name. Therefore, God has exalted you to the highest place, giving you the name that is above every name, that at name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the Father.
Oh Lord Jesus, we confess today you are Lord. You are Lord over all. You are God in the flesh, who came to us to save us from our sins. You are exalted at the right-hand of the Father now, and we praise you. And we pray for your glory to be made known among all the peoples of the earth, God, among the Bosniak people of Bosnia Herzegovina, 1.6 million of them. Just a few, a handful of followers of Jesus among the Bosniaks. God, please strengthen our brothers and sisters there, cause the gospel to spread through them. God, cause more laborers to take the gospel to them. God, help us to follow your lead, to go to places in need and to make your gospel known, just as you came to us in need to make the good news of your love known. God, we pray that you would help us to display the gospel with our willingness to go to the nations and make your grace and glory known among them.
God, we praise you. You’re the Lord whom we seek, who has come to save us from our sins and we glorify your name. Jesus, we exalt your name, God in the flesh, the word made flesh, and we praise you for coming to us, for saving us from our sins. We pray that you would use our lives to make your grace and your glory known in a world full of sinners in need of your grace, a world full of men and women who need to see your glory in the face of Jesus. In his name we pray. Amen.