Throughout the month of December, I plan to focus each Sunday on some aspect of the Person of Jesus. To some extent we always do that, of course, but each week this month I’m focusing more intentionally on some aspect of his character or role.
This text is clearly Messianic. Throughout the Old Testament there’s this note of anticipation as Israel waits for God to do what he’d promised that he would do. They looked forward to the time when he would bring a king who would establish peace, freeing them from the constant threat of enemy powers and giving them the prosperity they dreamed of.
As Isaiah looks into the future he sees God fulfilling his promise through a “shoot from the stump of Jesse . . . a branch from his roots.” This points to the Davidic line of kings, of course. It would be one who would judge fairly and who would bring about equity and righteousness.
The images of tranquility are striking: “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb . . . the leopard shall lie down with the young goat . . . the nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra.” Natural enemies would become friends, and violence would end.
This is the Messianic reign of Jesus, and I believe it points to the Lord’s reign over the kingdom that began at his resurrection but isn’t yet fully realized. Though Christ’s reign hasn’t been fully embraced, we look forward to that day in the “new heavens and new earth” when we experience the kingdom in all its glory.
Isn’t it wonderful to think about what it’ll be like when God makes everything completely right? Right now, we experience peace, but we also live in a world of violence. We see righteousness, but we experience injustice.
On that day–when the kingdom comes in all its glory–we will experience perfect peace. No more violence, no more fear, no more injustice, no more anxiety. Everything will be as it should be.