As discussed yesterday, Old Testament and New Testament scriptures work together wonderfully and perfectly. All throughout the Old Testament, God's plan is prophesied. In my opinion, no other book is more clear about what will take place than Isaiah. Isaiah is so specific--SO CLEAR--that he says a baby is to be born unto a virgin that will forever reign supreme over all humanity.
I love what is says in Isaiah 9:2: "the people who are now living in darkness will see a great light". It is abundantly clear from reading the Old Testament that no matter how hard the Israelites tried to be good and uphold the law, sin still found its way in.
How many times have you yelled at your family on the way to Sunday services? How many times have you had a negative attitude about serving? See what I mean? Even we desire to do what is right, and even on our way to do what is right… Things get away from us. And then… BAM! Sin.
And so it was for the Israelites. But they still hoped. They hoped for the newness and change from the promised King. God sent so many prophets to tell of the coming of this King, but hundreds of years passed. Can you imagine waiting all that time to see what happened? …knowing full well it may be something your grandchildren may not experience?
I can't. I don't know how I would still believe. I have a hard time dealing with waiting for my favorite TV shows that are airing in one more week. There's no way I could endure ANOTHER prophet coming along to say: "Yeah--but there's a King coming to save us all! Just wait and see!" without me rolling my eyes and thinking "Uh huh. Yeah right. We've been hearing this for hundreds of years."
The great news is that we don't have to! Jesus isn't some futuristic idea. He already came. He is the one that was prophesied for so long. He is in our tattered Bibles, He is with us when we weep, He rejoices with us, He is in us, and He is working through us.
Hope. We see hope in scripture from the very beginning, even in the darkest of days, there is still at least one who hopes. We cannot put our hope in the broken world; it will fail us. Our hope came in the most unexpected of ways: a tiny baby born unto a virgin. No one else bring God's plan to fruition… only Jesus.
Idea to think about:
- Immanuel means "God is with us." What message do you think God was sending through Isaiah with that name?
- Name 3 examples of times you have felt God with you through Jesus.