Test: Isaiah 53
“I wonder if he wanted to stay. ‘I could do a good job here in Nazareth. Settle down. Raise a family. Be a civic leader.’ I wonder because I know he had already read the last chapter. He knew that the feet that would step out of the safe shadow of the carpentry shop would not rest until they’d been pierced and placed on a Roman cross.” Max Lucado, God Came Near, p.51.
Seven hundred years before the baby Jesus appeared in a Bethlehem feed trough, his ultimate destiny was detailed by the prophet Isaiah, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53.5).
Jesus’ wounds, inflicted by the scourging of Roman soldiers and which were followed by his death, are how our spiritual wounds are healed in salvation. In every sense, Jesus is our Savior and Israel’s Messiah.
On this Christmas Eve, celebrate what Jesus did by doing something unexpected for someone you don’t know. For example, find one place to deliver a bag of goodies or a gift card to someone working tonight or tomorrow. Just hand them the bag and thank them for serving us during a time when they, almost certainly, would rather be with family and friends.