The eternal reign of the Messiah was not an empty promise, but a divine guarantee sealed by a bloodstained cross and an empty tomb.
“Fear not” is easier said than done, especially for the Israelites. After everything they’d been through, everything they’d faced, fear was a part of their lives. They had rejected God over and over again, spurning him for selfish desire and worshiping idols in his place.
In their darkest days, Israel had pleaded with God for a king. And God had granted them exactly what they wanted: a king that they had deemed worthy. A king who was strong, handsome, and charismatic. Israel adored Saul for all that he was, and ignored all that he wasn’t.
Our own righteousness is one of our biggest problems. Because we do good things, we think we are good. And when we do good things, we feel good about ourselves and believe others should think better of us for it.
Isaiah promised that the Messiah would be the anointed one, the bringer of good news, the mender of broken hearts, the liberator of captives, the breaker of chains, the proclaimer of truth and justice, and the comforter of those who mourn.
He will come, both mighty and gentle, a conquering king and a compassionate shepherd. These were the marks of the Messiah to come, the Messiah Israel longed for.
Peace: a term foreign to the Israelites. They lived in a world thrown into constant turmoil because of sin. Peace was the dream, the ideal that Adam had experienced in the garden before his sin brought with it ruin.
Shadows of glory, whispers of grace. Isaiah offered Israel glimpses of the coming Messiah, continuing the tapestry that began with a single thread in Genesis. The very nature of his coming would be inherently miraculous and specifically identifiable.