One of the distinguishing marks of classical music is the lack of amplification devices. There are no microphones, so the volume comes from the power of the instruments and voices, as well as the acoustics in the concert hall. And that volume, without any help from electricity, is powerful.
A few days ago, my wife and I went to see Handel’s Messiah performed by our city’s symphony orchestra and a rather large choir. The experience was magical. During the two hours we sat listening to the concert, I kept thinking how remarkable it was to hear the gospel declared so clearly in that packed concert hall. It was wonderful to hear Scripture sung clearly and loudly in English. Hearing all those prophecies from Isaiah set to some of the most beautiful music ever made was worth the price of admission.
As I sit here and write this, our Christmas tree is sparkling. Presents are strewn around the tree. There are lights and greenery on the mantle. Nutcrackers stand like sentinels on a bookcase. We are just a few days away from the celebration of a tiny baby being born in a tiny town, where “the hopes and fears of all years are met.” Where did all that hope come from? We find the answer in those same verses Handel used in his magnum opus.
In 2 Peter 1:16–21, Peter wants his readers to know they can trust the prophecies about the Messiah in the Old Testament are fulfilled in Jesus. He wants them to know they can count on the prophetic word. Christ’s coming is not some cleverly devised myth. The stories are true. The prophecies are fulfilled. Yes, there have been false prophets, just like there are false teachers now. But that does not change the fact that Jesus has come and is the promised Messiah.
This is no fiction. Old Testament Scriptures are reliable and point to “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v.16). We need to be reminded of this too. Because these were given by the Holy Spirit and we would “do well to pay attention [to them] as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in [our] hearts” (v.19).
Written by Matt Redmond