Sunday, December 25, 2016

Because of Jesus, We Will Never Again Walk in the Shadow of Death

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.' (Isaiah 9:2)

This prophecy in the Old Testament speaks of Jesus.

The rest of the passage particularly points to His birth:

"6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

"7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." (Isaiah 9:6-7)

During His earthly ministry, He preached the Gospel to great acclaim, specifically to the Gentiles, the people of "the nations":

"Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations." (Isaiah 9:1)

Notice "Galilee of the nations", which speaks of non-Jewish believers.

Jesus is the Light of the World, for Jew and Gentile, for slave and free:

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)

He is our light, and He came into a world covered in darkness, a realm where the pagan Empire of Rome was dominating the people of Israel.

Today, though, let's meditate on how Jesus is the Light of the world for all of us, and how no matter how dark the circumstances may be around us, we will never stumble.

Consider again the prophecy of Isaiah:

"They tat dwell in the land of the shadow of death ..."

Where have we read a passage like this before?

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

Notice that David wrote this Psalm, long before Jesus arrived. He prophesied of our Savior, specifically detailing the account of His Crucifixion in the previous Psalm.

Today, let us recognize that we can never find ourselves under the shadow of death.

Jesus, the Light of the world, has established His Kingdom. He died for us, He died as us, and He rose again from the dead, now seated at the right hand of His Father (Ephesians 1:21-2)

Looking back over the verse in Psalm 23, notice that David starts with "Yea, though" or "Even though."

This verse does not communicate that some day we may end up in this valley.

Read over his musings in Psalm 139:

"8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;" (Psalm 139:8-9)

The statements are hypothetical, just like in Psalm 23: "Even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death ..."

The truth, the Grace and Truth which came to us in Christ Jesus, we can never walk in the shadow of death ever again!

He is our Light, and He is our Life!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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