Isaiah prophecied about the Child. But he also prophesied about one he called the Servant of the Lord. As it turns out, the prophesies merge - they all point to the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. So Isaiah's "Servant Songs" are also part of the joyous melody of Christmas. Listen to these words ...
Read Isaiah 42:1-9, 49:1-7, and also 52:10
Excerpt from "The Christmas Chronicles" - Simeon's Friend's story
One of the people who had spent a lifetime ruminating in Isaiah's prophesies was Simeon, the elderly man who eagerly greeted the infant Jesus in the Temple, pronouncing him to be the fulfilment of age-old prophecies.
But long before that moment he had eagerly - breathlessly - anticipated this coming, because the Lord himself had told him it would be.
Listen as Simeon's friend recounts that part of the story and how Isaiah's prophecies had captured Simeon's mind and heart ...
... Simeon was waiting. He hoped with all his heart the Lord would send Messiah soon.
His lips would tremble and his eyes mist as he quoted the great prophecies of Isaiah. The Lord says:
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
and he will bring justice to the nations …”
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who
sit in darkness.”
He’d always stop right at that point. His eyes, which were closed, would open, and he’d say, “We need a Saviour like that! To open blind eyes. To set us free! To give light, not just to us, but to Gentiles too! To the nations! Oh, how we need it!”
And then he’d go on reciting:
“I am the Lord; that is my name! …
See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”
I still remember the day, some dozen years ago now, with a small crowd gathered, he spoke those final words, and then, as the others drifted away, I lingered, and he looked at me with a twinkle in his eyes and said: “He’s done that, you know. He’s announced what He’s going to do. He told me long ago that I won’t die until I see it happen—until I see Messiah.”
It was like a wind up my spine. Like a still, small voice riveting my attention. Simeon wasn’t kidding. He was absolutely sure. Prophecy was alive. He would see the fulfilment before he died. How did he know?
Afterwards, every time I heard him recite that scripture—and it was often—his eyes would sparkle in my direction, in conspiracy, as if to say: “Before it comes to pass, he’s announced it. I will see my salvation with my own two eyes!”
He couldn’t help himself. Isaiah’s words kept spilling out of him as if he were a cup of wine filled to the brim, shaken in the hand of some glad reveler. The prophecies of Messiah poured forth.
"The Lord will lay bare his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
the salvation of our God."
We ourselves have received the fulfilment of these great prophecies of old - Jesus has come! Reflect on all the promises that have spilled over into your life as a result. Give thanks. Commit yourself afresh to the One who is our Light and our Salvation.
Photo by David Monje on Unsplash