“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” – Matthew 1:22-23
We hear the story of the Incarnation often, which can make it hard to maintain our grasp on how incredible it is.
“Shout for joy, you heavens;
rejoice, you earth;
burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” – Isaiah 49:13
To be “afflicted” is to have hardship and suffering. We often talk of illnesses afflicting people with pain.
Isaiah 49 is a prophecy concerning the coming of Jesus. It is through Jesus that “the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” Jesus Himself was afflicted on our behalf.
What period of life are you looking forward to right now? When you graduate? When you get married? When you have the right job or house, or can start a family? When you’ve gotten your kids through school or paid off that house? When you can retire?
Sometimes it feels like we are always looking ahead to when we will really be able to “start living”. If we can just make it to a certain point, then that is when life is really happening and we can get everything together and feel like we are making it somewhere.
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16
The idea that because of Christ and through Christ we can boldly approach the “throne of grace”, that we can go with confidence into the throne room of the creator of the universe, is hard to grasp. I try to picture what the throne room must look like, knowing that my imagination does not and cannot come anywhere near a resemblance of what it is actually like. Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4 have descriptions that help, but I am sure they were at a loss for words trying to describe the indescribable.
“Talk is cheap.”
“Actions speak louder than words.”
These are two fairly common and generally true phrases. We live in a world full of words used in exaggeration, for broken promises, and downright lies. Our misuse of words runs the gamut from seemingly innocent to truly sinister. While the cheapening of words has made it more difficult to tell people what we truly mean and for them to fully believe it, the more damaging aspect of this is when the misuse of words creeps into our understanding of God and His Word.