1 Chronicles 17:10-14. “‘I declare to you that the Lord will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.’”
This is the Davidic Covenant. God’s promise to David that he would establish David’s royal line forever. His would be an eternal kingdom. And beyond this, that God himself would father the sons of David. The kings of Judah would be the sons of God.
From a merely human perspective, we might look at this prophecy and call it failed. The kingdom of David and of his sons is no longer in existence. There is no throne forever as was promised. In fact, we know that David’s sons were a mess. Civil war, murder, debauchery. The line of David would eventually fall into captivity, deportation, exile, and obscurity.
So once again the Advent, the waiting, leaves us scratching our heads. Where is this kingdom? Why was this promise even recorded? It didn’t come to pass? God failed on this one for sure didn’t he?
But then comes Christmas:
Luke 1:29-33. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
The son of Mary will reign. The son of 1 Chronicles 17 (and 2 Samuel 7) is the offspring of Mary. But he is also the Son of the Most High. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, was given the throne of his father David. The promise of the Davidic Covenant is true after all. God is faithful. The waiting revealed God’s goodness and faithfulness, just like it will for us one day.
Susan’s waiting reveals
Those of us who are in Christ are left to contemplate the reign of the son of God. Yes, Jesus has been given the throne of his father David. But Jesus in his first coming was not given the physical throne of David in Jerusalem. This is the plot twist of the Advent (the arrival). Jesus didn’t take the throne. The Son of David never became an earthly king. He didn’t overthrow the Romans. He didn’t reclaim the Jewish empire. He died. He died a criminal’s death. The death of a nobody. A non-human death.
But Jesus’ dying was his coronation. He was “lifted up” on the cross. The cross is his mercy seat. The royal throne. He wore a crown of thorns and a purple robe. He was charged as the “King of the Jews.” His shame was his exaltation. And then his resurrection returned him to the glory of his heavenly throne.
Jesus now reigns forever as the royal king, both the Son of David and the Son of God. The universe is his realm. A realm given to him by the Father. God has established his kingdom and his throne forever.
It is a realm that he is reclaiming from the enemy. That war still rages. That is our Advent. Our waiting. We wait for Christ to win the final battle, defeat the final enemy of death once and for all, and bring us all into his glorious kingdom.
Until then our union with the Son of God makes us sons of God. Christ sits on the throne of our hearts. He rules through the church. He gives us the Spirit of son-ship. We reign with Christ as co-heirs of the kingdom. A Kingdom yet to be fulfilled here on earth. That is our Advent today. Waiting for the ultimate victory of Christ and standing firm in our son-ship until he returns. That is “to live is Christ.”
Do you see yourself as a son of God (not THE Son of God)? As a co-heir with Christ? How might this season of Advent be different for you if you did? Do you long for Christ’s return more than you long for anything else? Why or why not?