With Christmas less than two weeks away, I was drawn to share a Bible passage related to our Savior’s birth. So, of course, I thought of Isaiah 9. As I read the familiar verses that are often found in Christmas carols and greeting cards, I was drawn to a less-quoted promise in Isaiah 9. Sandwiched between the familiar verses is a promise we can declare all year long.
An Internet search informed me there are three times as many prophecies of Jesus’s second coming than of his first. Three times! No wonder the Jews expected something different. Jesus was born in a manager like a pauper and he died on a cross like a criminal. The circumstances of his birth and death were prophesied in Scripture, but the prophecies of his second coming as a warrior who would conquer, rule and reign overshadowed and outweighed the signs that pointed to his humble birth in Bethlehem.
Isaiah prophesied that a child would be born to us who would rule with fairness and justice from David’s throne. But Jesus never took the place of Caesar as king of the Jews. Hours before his violent death, Jesus looked in the face of Pilate and said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36 NIV).
Jesus is King of kings, and he will indeed come again in glory. I’m reminded of the glorious Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. “And He shall reign forever and ever.” But you don’t have to wait until the second coming to be set free from all that oppresses you. With Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can walk in freedom this very moment, regardless of your circumstances.
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This week’s scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7