Merry Christmas From Lucy….

Dear Ones,

Every year at this time, we hear the word of God expressed through the prophet Isaiah. Whether proclaimed in Handel’s “Messiah” or seen on  cards, the words of Isaiah 9 are heard.

Almost every interpretation of this verse and every sermon composed on the subject limits the scope of the verse to a proclamation that CHRIST, the everlasting KING, will shoulder the responsibility of government, that He will rule all governments, and that all governments will serve HIM, be held by HIM, at HIS behest, and for HIS purposes.  And all of this is true!

But read the passage again (extracted below) and think about it in the context of the Cross, which was literally placed upon the shoulders of CHRIST as HE headed toward Golgotha. What is the cross?  The cross was the STATE’S punishment for political crimes, a warning from the Roman government to zealots not to undermine the authority of the State.  And while JESUS was not a zealot, of course, he was deemed a zealot and convicted as if HE were a zealot.  The writing on the top of the cross above HIS head reads “KING of the Jews.” HIS Kingdom is not of this world, but because HE spoke of a kingdom that was not subject to the governing authorities – indeed, HIS Kingdom is the SOURCE of all authority – CHRIST was considered a threat against the Roman state, leading to the political punishment of crucifixion.

And so the cross – the government, if you will – was placed upon HIS shoulder.-  literally, as well as symbolically.

And this interpretation aligns beautifully with (and in fact REDEEMS) verse 4. The yoke that burdens us – the literal bar across our shoulders – has been taken by Him and literally hoisted upon HIS shoulders so that we may be saved.

So the next time you hear these words or see them in Christmas greeting cards, think about the dual meaning.  Yes, CHRIST will certainly hold all governments in HIS Hand, on HIS shoulders, and subject to His control. Indeed, HE already does!!  But CHRIST has also borne for us the punishment that we deserved so that we might have eternal life with HIM.  The government – the punishment – was on our shoulders, and HE took it upon HIMSELF.


 

Isaiah 9New International Version (NIV)

[a]Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty GOD,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

 

Praise to the LORD, O let all that is in me adore HIM!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before HIM.
Let the Amen sound from HIS people again,
Gladly for aye we adore HIM !!

 

 

In HIM,

 

lucy

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