Malachi 3:1-5: “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. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.”
The Bible is the most honest and amazing book that will ever be written.
As the most honest book, the Old Testament ends with the report card for God’s people through the prophet Malachi. In the first two chapters, God honestly tells them that relationally their families are a mess, spiritually their churches are a mess, and politically their nation is a mess. The report card is basically straight “F’s”. On our own, we are hopeless.
As the most amazing book, the Old Testament ends with prophesy about the coming of Jesus. Roughly 25 percent of the Bible was prophetic when written, as the God who knows and rules the future tells us in advance what will happen. Prophecy is how God prepares His people for the future. In Jesus, hopeless people find hope.
In Malachi 2:17, the people who are frustrated with God and lacking faith in God ask, “Where is the God of justice?” God then tells them that His name is Jesus and He’s already booked a first-class ticket from heaven to earth.
To prepare the way, John the Baptizer would come as God’s messenger to preach the repentance of sin and get the people ready for Jesus. Then, “the Lord” Jesus would arrive at the Temple. Since the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D and no longer exists, this proves that Jesus has already come and anyone who is awaiting the coming of the Messiah, such as our Jewish friends, are waiting in vain because He has already arrived.
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we do so at a privileged time in the history of the world. From the prophecy of Malachi, the people of God waited 400 years until it was fulfilled at the first Christmas. Today, we, by sight, look back at Jesus’ first coming and, by faith, look forward to Jesus’ second coming to fulfill the Bible’s remaining prophecies about Him.