On this Christmas Eve, enjoy reflecting on this ancient promise from the Book of Isaiah. It was written 700 years before "the fullness of time" finally arrived, when "God sent forth his Son, born of woman" (Galatians 4:4 ESV):

....[A] child shall be born to a virgin! And she shall call him Immanuel (meaning, “God is with us”)….

In God’s eyes he was like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. But in our eyes there was no attractiveness at all, nothing to make us want him. We despised him and rejected him — a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we didn’t care.

Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, for his own sins! But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed — and we were healed!

We — every one of us — have strayed away like sheep! We, who left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet God laid on him the guilt and sins of every one of us! He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he never said a word…. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people of that day realized it was their sins that he was dying for — that he was suffering their punishment? He was buried like a criminal, but in a rich man’s grave; but he had done no wrong and had never spoken an evil word….

Because of what he has experienced, my righteous Servant shall make many to be counted righteous before God, for he shall bear all their sins.” – Isaiah 7:14, 53:2-11 (TLB)

Best wishes for a joyous and Christ-centered Christmas celebration. May you be richly blessed as you enjoy the fulfillment of God’s ancient promise!

From Austin and all the SMI team