“’The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’”
Not much to say for this one. Let the truth of who our God is wash over your heart and mind today: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.
He has come. Merry Christmas.
My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic in his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. Is 53.2
I find it an interesting contrast to compare Jesus in this prophecy with someone like Moses in Exodus 34. Moses only spent 40 days in the presence of the Lord (an incredible experience only paled by the fact that Jesus was God Himself), and every single person could tell that there was something different about him. But when God, the source of Moses’ different, comes as a man… nothing. No shiny-ness, no special stature, no majestic manner. I don’t have any special conclusion today; instead, I’m going to ponder why Jesus would “not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, [making] himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant… and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself…” (Phil 2.6-8)
“’Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.’” Is 42.1-4
A woman in my church has asked me to put together my testimony to share as part of the next women’s retreat, and whenever I look back on the 21+ years I’ve lived so far, one of the very first things that comes to mind is one of my favorite truth’s about God: Hesed, the love that will not let me go. I see the Lord’s Hesed everywhere in my life; in the fact that after being accepted into nursing school I have successfully finished the third of four semesters (of the hardest scholastic challenge I’ve ever faced); in the blessing of having a beautiful studio apartment provided for me for the past 1.5 years, made affordable by the enduring love of consistently self-sacrificing friends; in the ever-deepening friendship that’s developing between my best friend/sister and I. And I see it in this Advent passage as well. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice… he will not falter or be discouraged… So often, so so often I have felt like an island. Distant. Helpless. Too far away for hope of contact, much less intervention. But He is Hesed, and He is my source of hope.
“Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’”
Messiah (“Mashiach”) in Hebrew and Christ (“Christos” in Greek) means “Anointed one”. And in this passage originally from Isaiah 61.1-3, we see that Jesus was the anointed one 700 years before he sat down and taught in his hometown synagogue. The Sovereign Lord planned our salvation before the foundation of the world.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Eph 1.3-6