A Great Light
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil.” – Isaiah 9.2-3
Brighter UnderstandingIt’s amazing to me that regardless of the number of Christmas seasons I experience the majesty of God coming to dwell with man in Jesus always astonishes. The more I learn about His perfect fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and grasp to understand the promises of His return, the more in awe and wonder I approach the Advent season.
For example, I recently learned about the Davidic covenant in 2 Samuel 7 where God promises an eternal king from the offspring of David who would reign and keep God’s law perfectly. The Isrealites eagerly looked forward to this day and longingly waited for its fulfillment. Read Psalm 72 and see how it “anticipates a time when a future Davidic king will bring blessing to the nations.” (Alexander, From Eden to the New Jerusalem, 2008, pp 166). This is the kind of story we find beginning it’s completion at Christmas. What incredible illumination to the brightness of the light of Christ when we read the Christmas story. Our perfect King took on flesh.
Different Than ExpectedAlthough the Israelites anticipated this coming light that would shine into the darkness, Jesus accomplished the promises of God in a different way than expected. Instead of establishing His universal reign immediately, Jesus served us in a way we could never have served ourselves and bore the punishment of our sins on the cross. Now through His resurrection, ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit we exist in a season of “already but not yet”.
God has defeated death; He has shined His great light among the nations. Yet we still suffer the effects of a fallen world waiting for Jesus to come and renew all things. As we remember Jesus coming to earth this Christmas it is equally appropriate to meditate on His return when His universal reign shall be established.
What To Do While We WaitAs followers of Jesus, we have seen the great light that was promised. God in His grace has saved us. Unfortunately, much of the world is still waiting to hear the news that the light has shined in the darkness. 2.9 billion people are unreached with the Gospel and have no access to hear how Jesus took on flesh, saved us from our sins and is coming again.
May this weigh on us appropriately this Advent season remembering God’s grace in our own lives and being compelled in love to reach those still without this good news. Let’s pray for the lost this Christmas that they might come to know our Lord Jesus Christ and share in His light. Consider what your role is in bringing the light you’ve received into areas of darkness.
Billions of people still dwell in a land of spiritual darkness1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son!
2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice!
3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!