Sunday, December 6, 2009

14: Isaiah 9, 53, 61

Good News.

A piece of good news is a refreshing break in the otherwise depressing monotony of our fallen world. Think about the news you are bombarded with every day - shootings, fires, disasters, wars, robberies, assaults, perversions. These are just a few samples of the exhibits of the depravity of man. Our world is broken and there is seldom any good news to come from it.

When there is some bit of good news, the world seems to stop and everything focuses on it. It captures our attention because it is unusual. The wall falls. The child is rescued from the well. The little girl long missing is found unharmed. The miners come out alive. Good news is jarring in its uniqueness.

Jesus has this same effect. His story is good news to those who hear it. It is the hope of salvation for those who have given up hope. He brings rescue to those who are about to go under for the last time. He is a light cutting through the darkness that engulfs us.

This is what we read in Isaiah. Jesus is the one to bring the light of hope to the darkness where we dwell. All around us we see hopelessness - the brokeness of man inflicting pain on the world around us. We are lost in the dark, long past hope of rescue. Then, off in the distance, a light pierces the darkness. Hope of salvation. Jesus.

He has come, not simply to rescue us, but to undo all that we have broken. To set right all the wrongs of men. To bring peace, justice, and righteousness . . . forever. He has come to break the power of sin and death that engulfs our lives and our world. He has come to restore God's desire for His Creation.

How will this occur? As He steps into the gulf between God and man. He will satisfy the holy wrath of God against our sins by being crushed in our place. God came to men and we rejected Him. In spite of the rejection, He took our sins on Himself. He bore the wrath of God for us; died the death that we deserved, so that we would not have to face it. He was crushed, completely broken. He suffered greatly. He was wounded, pierced, slaughered on our behalf. The result? We can now have peace with God. The opportunity is there to have our debt erased, our record cleared, our pardon secured and our wounds healed. Broken hearts are healed. Captives are set free. Mourning is turned to dancing. Joy takes the place of despair. All because of God's sacrifice on our behalf.

Jesus has come. He died for us. He took our sin, shame, and punishment. That is Good News.

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