The Advent of the Lamb of God
"A page in history was about to turn. Though Israel's world was in the throes of upheaval, it was only a matter of time before the sun of righteousness would rise. These people needed rescue, but they weren't waiting for the stars to align or for the political climate to change. They were waiting for God. They were on his timetable. He was sending his Messiah—Immanuel, God with us."
For centuries God's people awaited the coming of a Savior. In the midst of a world of trouble, they hoped for one who would deliver them from evil and restore them to true life. Would God be faithful to his promises?
Pastor Russ Ramsey narrates anew the greatest story ever told—the true tale of the coming of the Christ. It's more than the story of a baby born in Bethlehem; the story encompasses the whole of the Old Testament and all of human history, unveiling God's longsuffering, loving pursuit of his people. Rediscover how the purposes of God culminated in the coming of Jesus, in twenty-five readings ideal for Christmas or any season of meeting the Savior.
Also including The Passion of the King of Glory and The Mission of the Body of Christ, the Retelling the Story series explores the narrative arc of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation in compelling language that is faithful to the text of Scripture. The stories are told afresh to help readers hide God's word in their hearts by way of their imaginations.
"Russ Ramsey has that rare gift—the ability to animate the imagination. May you and yours take up this book, read it, and be renewed."
"What better way to prepare our hearts for Christmas than to do what Russ has done so well in The Advent of the Lamb of God—rehearse the magnificent story that begins centuries before, the magnificent story woven through all of the Bible. The story of how God loves his children and has come to rescue them."
"So many authors write like they're on a mission to prove something about their own brilliance. Not Russ Ramsey. He's doing something entirely different. Even the simple preface is a study in how calming, winsome, and selfless writing can be. Put this book in your hands and feel loved."
"When Andrew Peterson sings 'Behold the Lamb of God,' three worlds collide: ours, Abraham's, and Jesus'. Russ Ramsey's book opens the doors between those worlds and helps us bring them together."
"Russ Ramsey tells a story you've heard a hundred times and still haven't heard enough. With remarkable attention to the facts of the matter—the water dripping from John the Baptist's beard, the heft of Abraham's knife, the groans of a girl giving birth on a stable floor—Russ brings to life the story that brings us to life. Here is glory made visible, tangible, audible. Which is to say, here is the Incarnation."
"Ramsey deftly retells the story of Jesus with a pastor's heart and an artist's touch. In this book, real people sigh and cry, tremble and rejoice. It captured my heart. My family will treasure it for years to come."
"The Advent of the Lamb of God offers readers a sterling opportunity to walk through God's story of redemption. Ideal for personal or family devotions, the stories are told with imagination, verve, and gospel-driven joy."
"Russ Ramsey is that rare kind of writer: both an astute theologian with a comprehensive knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and a masterful storyteller. In beautifully written prose, he takes us on a trip through the history of redemption, bringing to life the true tale of a Divine Lover who comes to rescue his people. As a loving pastor, Russ shepherds this great story as well or better than any writer. Not only is he that skillful, he's that full of care, which is no small thing."
"This story, and the compelling beauty with which Russ tells it, is what helps us make sense of the big story, which we need to hear all year long, our whole lives long."
"Russ Ramsey's Retelling the Stories is a worthy addition to the tradition of scriptural retellings, such as Eugene Peterson's The Message and Sally Lloyd-Jones's The Jesus Storybook Bible. . . . The three installments of the Retelling the Stories series are beautifully written and easy to read without being condescending, simplistic, or taking too many liberties. As a commentary engages the mind, Ramsey's books capture the heart. The stories here, in service to the scriptures, refreshed my soul, gave my heart joy, and lit my eyes. If Russ Ramsey's goal is to help his readers understand scripture better and to have their 'eyes open to the beauty of mercy and grace,' he succeeds."
Preface: Telling a True Tall Tale
Part I: Awaiting the Messiah
1. Behold the Lamb of God
3. Redemption Amidst the Wreckage
4. Number the Stars of Heaven
5. God Will Provide a Lamb
6. Jacob and Two Women
7. Walking with a Limp
8. Four Hundred Years
9. Blood on the Doorpost
10. The War Within
11. The Days of the Judges
12. King Saul
13. The Boy-King of Bethlehem
14. Cast Me Not Away
15. The Edge of Ruin
16. I Have Loved You
Part II: The Savior Has Come
17. Herod the Great, King of the Jews
18. The Silence of the Priest
19. The Ordinary Overshadowed
20. When Joseph Woke from His Dream
21. The Birth of Jesus
22. Where the Lambs Are Kept
23. One Star Lit for Them
24. The Hearts of Many Revealed
25. Son of God, Son of Man