24 Days of Advent Scripture Devotionals

Day 23 – They Will Look on Me Whom They Have Pierced

Zechariah 12:10

“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. – Zechariah 12:10

The Entombment of Christ - Amerighi da Caravaggio

The Entombment of Christ – Amerighi da Caravaggio


Back on Day 1, we began this journey through the Old Testament scriptures as we remembered the words of Jesus, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ (Messiah) to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26-27 NKJV)

Some prophecies are more tolerable than others; suitable for sentimental holiday cards and Facebook posts. During the Christmas season we rightly focus on the baby that was born, but let’s not forget the man that baby grew up to become.

We should all heed the rebuke that Jesus gave his followers after they had failed to learn that the suffering and death of the Messiah was all part of the plan. “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things?”

The gospels recount that as Jesus was dying on the cross he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34)

Jesus was referring to the prophecy written by David in Psalm 22. I wonder how many times he had recited that passage and thought, “This is about me. This is how I am going to die. Alone, rejected, suffering a cruel and painfully slow death.”

After the birth of the Messiah the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” That peace was made for us by the Prince of Peace. He was “pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)

Read the entire passage of Psalm 22 below. Ask God to pour out on you the Spirit of grace and supplication as was promised in Zechariah 12:10 as you thank Jesus for taking your place. Remember, he is alive. He is with you even now and freely offers you forgiveness of your sins.

Psalm 22

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.

But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
They cried to You, and were delivered;
They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.

But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
“He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”

But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.

Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.

For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.

But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!

You have answered Me.

I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.

My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!

All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
For the kingdom is the Lord’s,
And He rules over the nations.

All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.

A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this.

Hymn: O Sacred Head Now Wounded

The words of this hymn are attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux in 1153. The tune is “Passion Chorale” by Hans Hassler and the harmony was developed by none other than J.S. Bach. Again, this one is not a traditional Christmas carol but very appropriate for today’s devotional.

O Sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown
How pale Thou art with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish
Which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered,
T’was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
‘Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever,
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love for Thee.

Day 19 – The Son of Man

Cloud LIghtning - Blaine Franger

Cloud Lightning – Blaine Franger

Daniel 7:13-14

The prophet Daniel recounted an awesome vision:

I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.

Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed. – Daniel 7:

We know about the Ancient of Days, the LORD; Yahweh, Jehovah. Studying the Old Testament we observe:

  • “You shall have no other gods before Me.” – Exodus 20:3
  • “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” – Deuteronomy 6:4
  • “You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him only, and shall take oaths in His name.” – Deuteronomy 6:13
  • “I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another” – Isaiah 42:8
  • “I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior” – Isaiah 43:11

In the Old Testament scriptures we also have this testimony of the Son:

  • ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. – Psalm 2:7-8
  • Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. – Psalm 2:11-12
  •  I will be his Father, and he shall be My son” – 2 Samuel 7:14
  • The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” – Psalm 110:1
  • “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

Why would Yahweh, the Ancient of Days, give dominion and glory and a kingdom to a human being, the Son of Man, so that all peoples, nations and languages would serve him?

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” – Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14

Hymn: Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever blessed, when the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face, evermore and evermore!

This is He Whom seers in old time chanted of with one accord;
Whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word;
Now He shines, the long expected,
Let creation praise its Lord, evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him; angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him, and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring, evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father, and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving, and unwearied praises be:
Honor, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory, evermore and evermore!

This arrangement is absolutely beautiful! The different parts are staggered to sound like an echo effect. No digital processing here. (NOTE: the recording ends long before the end of the video.)

Day 14 – How Is He Then His Son?

Gustav Dore - Sermon on the Mount

Gustav Dore – Sermon on the Mount

Psalm 110

The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” – Psalm 110:1

The Messiah was called the Son of David because, as we have seen, God promised that a descendant of David would have an everlasting reign (2 Samuel 7). At the time of Jesus, this was readily understood because of the testimony of the prophets who confirmed this anticipation for a ruler to come from the line of David.

But why would David write, “The LORD said to my Lord” in this Psalm? That is exactly the question Jesus asked on one occasion:

Mark 12:35-37

Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ [Messiah] is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit:

‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’

Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”

Good question. People readily believed that the Messiah would be a man, a physical descendant of David. But what Jesus was asking was whether they understood that the Messiah would also be the Son of God. You see, for the LORD (Yahweh) to say to “my Lord” (Adonai), “sit at my right hand” would mean that this Adonai would have the same authority and speak and act on his behalf.

Yahweh said, “you shall have no other God’s before me” (Exodus 20:3) and also said he would himself be Israel’s savior: “I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:11); “I, the Lord, am your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (Isaiah 49:25)

The Hebrew scriptures testify that the promised one, the Messiah, the Son of David would also be the LORD in the flesh: Immanuel – God With Us.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14

Hymn: Immanuel

Michael Card

A sign shall be given
A virgin will conceive
A human baby bearing
Undiminished deity
The glory of the nations
A light for all to see
That hope for all who will embrace
His warm reality

Immanuel
Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your light has come

So what will be your answer?
Will you hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His son
But gave him for us all
On earth there is no power
There is no depth or height
That could ever separate us
From the love of God in Christ

Day 13 – Nor Will You Allow Your Holy One to See Corruption

St Peter Preaching – Franz Anton Maulbertsch

Psalm 16:8-11

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption – Psalm 16:9-10

David was a king but he was also a prophet. This passage from Psalm 16 refers to the resurrection of the Holy One, the Messiah, and was quoted by the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, he rose up and preached boldly to the Jews who had come from all over the world to Jerusalem. I’ll let Peter do the talking today:

Acts 2:22-39

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. For David says concerning Him:

‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’

“Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

“For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Hymn: In the First Light

In the first light of a new day no one knew he had arrived
Things continued as they had been while a newborn softly cried
But the heavens wrapped in wonder knew the meaning of his birth
In the weakness of a baby they knew God had come to earth

As his mother held him closely it was hard to understand
That her baby, not yet speaking, was the word of God to man
He would tell them of his kingdom but their hearts would not believe
They would hate him and in anger they would nail him to a tree

But the sadness would be broken as the song of life arose
And the firstborn of creation would ascend and take his throne
He had left it to redeem us but before his life began
He knew he’d come back, not as a baby, but as the Lord of every man

Hear the angels as they’re singing on the morning of his birth
But how much greater will our song be when he comes again to earth
Hear the angels as they’re singing on the morning of his birth
But how much greater will our song be when he comes to rule the earth!