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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
The eternal reign of the Messiah was not an empty promise, but a divine guarantee sealed by a bloodstained cross and an empty tomb.
And on that night in Bethlehem, that very breath gave him life. And with that first breath, light was born into the world, a hushed guarantee that darkness would never prevail.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Such simple words with such incredible implications. From the very beginning, he had always been there. But now he was here. The author of life born into creation.