The restoration of the nation Israel was directly tied to the coming of the Messiah.  The Servant of God would come in dramatic fashion to restore the fortunes of God’s people once again.  Who would have imagined that the Messiah would come to earth born of a virgin in a obscure town?  Who would have thought that a manger would be His first bed and shepherds would be the only ones besides His earthly parents to welcome Him?

Isaiah saw years into the future and noted that the Messiah would come bringing the good news of God’s salvation and God’s reign to this world.  His coming would mark a new age and His work would bring the redemption everyone in the world desperately needed.  Although His coming would be quiet and His early life very normal, the work He would accomplish for the Father would be astounding.  He would come revealing the Father and bring hope to the world.  His life and message would become the gospel for all generations.  His passion would save people from their sins and fallen ways.  He would do whatever necessary to fulfill the Father’s promises to His people.

Isaiah notes that this Servant of God “will prosper, He will be high and lifted up, and greatly exalted…” so that earthly powers would be astonished by Him.  Jesus Christ fulfilled this prophecy in the most dramatic fashion when he was crucified, buried and resurrected.  This historical event, which began in Bethlehem, has never been refuted, equaled, or surpassed.  Jesus Christ has been exalted by the Father through His redemptive work.  But that is not all.  His first coming was without fanfare.  His second coming will be with power and glory so that all peoples and nations will know Him.  Our hope does not stop with His first coming.  We have the hope of the resurrection and the hope of His return to guide and comfort us in these unsettling times.

Tonight we light the candle of Hope and we confess with Isaiah that Jesus is  the Exalted Servant.  His astonishing life and work has brought us the good news of God’s love, forgiveness, and free gift of eternal life.  Tonight we take a moment to thank our Lord for successfully saving us and giving us His victory over sin, the world, the flesh and death.