As a woman with child and about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so we were in your presence, O LORD. We were with child, we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world. ~ But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Isaiah 26:17-19a
I love the redemption themes in the book of Isaiah and this passage has always captivated me.
Israel cries out. We have tried LORD. We strived and groaned in agony. But we failed. We could not save ourselves. We could not bring life to the world or salvation to the people. All our efforts produced nothing lasting.
Then God speaks. He looks down on his children and says; I know, my children, I know. You are not able. That was never my plan. Don’t worry. I will do it. I will bring life to the dead. I will bring life through resurrection.
The message of Christmas is the message of redemption and resurrection. God Himself came to earth, born of a virgin so that He could bring us salvation. He came to walk among us; God with Us. He came to die, to pay the debt that we could never pay. He came to rise from the grave, to bring life everlasting.
The message of Christmas is a message of joy.
My mind turns to Martha in John 11. There she stands devastated by her brother’s death saying that she knows he will rise again one day. She understands the promises of Isaiah and of Daniel (12:2), but it all seems so far away, so removed from the place of her grief. Then Jesus proclaims, “I am the resurrection and the life.” The fulfillment of the promise stands before her; God in flesh. Jesus is the offer of life, here and now.
Because of Jesus we who believe have been given the very life of Christ. Eternal life is born within our hearts. There is no need for striving and writhing in pain trying to bring about salvation! We must cease that folly for we can not do it ourselves. We must receive the gift of God in Christ Jesus. He stands before us offering forgiveness for our sins and everlasting life. Now that is a reason for us to “wake up and shout for joy!”
Joy to the World – The Lord Has Come – Let Earth Receive Her King!