The prophet Isaiah lived about 700 years before Jesus was born. Somehow God gave him a window into the future and he saw what Jesus would be doing, how he would act, what he would accomplish.
Isaiah 36 has yet another peek into the future.
“Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. Lions will not lurk along its course, nor any other ferocious beasts. There will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will walk on it. Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.”
Isaiah 35:4-10 – NLT
Jesus made lame beggars walk and blind men see. He also unstopped the ears of the deaf. When Isaiah wrote this did they believe it would be literal? Or did they expect this to be just metaphorical? What about those enemies Jesus would destroy? Was that literal too? I had a bully in 7th grade named Billy, what about him or the bully I now have at work? No. Jesus came to save both of those people in the same way he came to save me.
In Paul’s letter to the Believers in Ephesus he sorted out just who is our real and true enemy.
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 – NLT
Jesus did destroy two enemies, enemies we all have in common, sin and death.
When Jesus died on the cross he paid for every sin. While hanging from the cross he said, “it is finished”. The job he came to do was done. The debt, my debt, your debt, was paid in full.
But there was one more enemy to defeat, and the victory was already in process. In 3 days Jesus rose from the dead and with set us free from the control of death.
Paul wrote this to the believers in Rome.
“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:20-23 – NIV
I get excited when I see God use a prophet who lived 700 years before Jesus arrived to describe how Jesus would act and what he would do. It confirms in my my heart that Jesus is the one God sent to rescue us.
As I write this it is early December 2020. We are in a pandemic. COVID-19 is working it’s way through our country and it is circling closer and closer. It seems to be spreading darkness and fear. First The country, then our state, next our county, our town, our church and hospital, our neighborhood.
But Jesus came to bring hope and light.
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
John 1:9-13 – NIV
Our enemies have been defeated. Jesus has come to bring light and hope a healing. we can become children of God. We can have our biggest enemies destroyed, our sins washed away and be given eternal life. This Christmas with COVID can be the best Christmas ever if it includes receiving Jesus as the gift he came to be, the forgiver of sin and the bestower of eternal life.