Amidst the rush and bustle of daily life, it becomes challenging to pause and listen for the quieter voices that seek our attention. In spite of the importance of the message, it can easily be drowned out by the onslaught of circumstances that bombard us daily. God sent a prophet to Israel to make certain profound and monumental announcements that would affect the course of her history and in an even greater sense, the lives of every individual to be born into the human race. The Hebrew Scriptures can be viewed as revealing God’s plan for bringing the Savior into the world. Such was Isaiah’s summary statement to Israel … “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders” (Isa 9:6a NIV).
In three short phrases, the prophet reveals God’s plan to redeem mankind from the penalty of sin and spiritual death. First, the Savior would come through the lineage of King David, born in human flesh. John wrote … “He came to that which was his own”… “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:11, 14a NIV). Second, this would be a unique birth for this “Son” would be given, God’s gift of love to Israel and to the human race. Again it was John who would write … “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). Third, this “Son”, born into the human race for the purpose of accomplishing salvation would then be exalted to the greatest heights as King of the Jews and Lord and King over all earthly kings.
The Apostle Paul wrote of the exaltation of Jesus Christ … “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11 NIV). Lest there be any doubt as to how God would enter the human race, Isaiah prophetically announced that … “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isa 7:14 NIV). History attests to the accuracy of the prophet’s message. Yet, later he would sadly announce … “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed” (Isa 53:1 NIV)?
Some did believe God’s promise of a Savior and by faith embraced the future work of Christ on the Cross as payment for their sins. However, the leadership of the nation during the lifetime of Christ rejected the message and ordered His death. Centuries earlier, Joseph, prime minister of Egypt, in speaking to his brothers who at first attempted to kill him and then sold him into slavery, expressed God’s perspective and plan … “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Gen 50:20 NIV). The saving of many lives would be far more than just physical survival, but would insure that a nation would come into existence from Jacob and his sons through whom God would reveal His love and grace in the person of Jesus Christ, the pre-incarnate God of Israel.
Thus, God set in motion His plan to redeem mankind from the clutches of sin. The plan was not hidden nor was the Person who would execute that Plan obscured from man’s thinking and understanding for … “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Heb 1:1-2 NIV).