“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.” –Malachi 3:1
The structure of this passage, along with the New Testament writers’ use of it, tells us that the Lord whom we seek and the messenger of the covenant are the same person. He is Jesus.
What is the Christmas message from this messenger of the covenant?
God has a message.
The world is dark with sin and brokenness. Humans are rebellious and disoriented. Things are a mess. But, God has spoken. Praise God for his word. He has not left us alone in this world without the way to forgiveness, healing, and right relationship with himself. God’s message is repentance and faith in him as the road to life.
But how can we hear the message? Who will bring it to us?
God sent the messenger.
Into the spiritual void, God sent the saving voice. God sent his Son. There were voices that announced the coming of the Son. But, not until the Son himself arrived, through the virginal conception and birth, did the final message of grace appear.
This Son grew into adulthood and spoke the message of God to listening ears. Not all listened. In time this world rejected his claims to be the Savior, and his call to believe and follow him. We crucified him. Little did we know that this crucifixion would become the message of God. The cross would become the good news. There, he paid the penalty for sins, healed the brokenness, and made the way back to God.
The Son, Jesus Christ, was raised! His life is now our hope that his death covered our sins. His resurrection is the guarantee that he will return.
The messenger is the message.
The way to heed the message of God is to come to his messenger, Jesus Christ, in repentance and faith. Come to Christ as Lord. Worship and bow down before him. Offer to him the living sacrifice of ourselves. Jesus himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).”
Today, do you hear his voice? Or, do you need to slow down, or even stop, to listen? Are your ears open? Is your mind and heart receptive? Nothing could be more important right now, at this moment, than to hear the message of God from his messenger Jesus. All of eternity depends on this. When you hear his voice, do not harden your heart. Rather, respond and enter the joy of his salvation.