“Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” – Isaiah 53:1 (NASB)
Well my brothers (and sisters) like it or not, we have a new President!! The remains of the Thanksgiving turkey should be a frozen mass of soup in your freezer by now and that “Black Friday” thingy (ya know, the day where good people do bad things to get great deals) is in the history books. What else could possibly be left to do? A lot of you will say Christmas but for me it will be my birthday. The Roman Catholic Church will observe it as day they call The Immaculate Conception. What is that?
Well to give that day a small moment of definition, I can say that the Catholic Church teaches it as the day that the Virgin Mary was conceived in her mother’s womb, (the Catholic Church refers to her as St. Anne) free from original sin by the foreseen merits of her son, Jesus Christ, and is considered a holy day of obligation meaning, your fanny perpendicular better be in church. The rest of it gets too murky for me to go into but I think that’s why my mother named me Christopher (my name means “bearing Christ”) and not after my father, John (which means “YAHWEH is gracious”). Anyway…back to Christmas.
Now we all know that to celebrate Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, but do we really get that? Maybe those who do the commercialized version of i-Christmas don’t, but we – Christians – should. Sometimes when we tell the commercialized world “Jesus is the reason for the season” we need to be able to back it up. Just to say that Jesus is the Messiah doesn’t make it so. Paul tells those in Thessalonica to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thes 5:21) and since it would be those folks in Berea (Acts 17:11) who would actually dig into things lets follow their example and dig into what would have been available to them at the time…The Old Testament!!
One thing to understand is that Jewish hope is centered on the advent of the Messiah, which is rooted in YHVH’s promise to David that his kingdom would endure forever. “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” (2 Sam 7:16) But before we can get here there was judgement pronounced in Genesis 3:14-15, that was directed at the serpent, and tells us that the Messiah will be a man. So, with that lineage will be very important at this point. We will need to get off the Ark and follow Shem to Terah to Abram. Abram will receive Melchizedek’s blessing, YHVH will make him a promise, Abram will think Ishmael is that promise, El-Shaddai will change Abram to Abraham, then there’ll be Isaac, then Jacob and then Judah!!
Now I put us on the fast track to get to Judah because of what Jacob (or Israel as he now known) says in Genesis 49:10, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” The key portion of this verse is “Until Shiloh comes”. Now the word Shiloh can get a little obscure within the context of its usage but I’m pretty sure that in this case we are talking the Prince of Peace. So, with that we now know what tribe of Israel the Messiah will come from. Getting to David’s family is just a hop and skip to Isaiah 11:1-2 and a jump backwards to 2 Samuel 7:8 and then we can safely land on 2 Samuel 7:16.
Now I bet you are sitting there shaking your head in order to get it back into focus. Lineage’s have a way of doing that, but they are important to take in. So, what does this have to do with telling the cashier at Wal-mart “Jesus is the reason for the season” and that it ain’t “Happy Holidays?” Foundation!! We need foundation and as much as the Old Testament is filled with chaos and disorder the line of Messiah drives right through it. And since we live in a chaotic and disordered world we need to show the strength of the Messianic line still driving through and the need for salvation in Jesus Christ. I got more to get into but for today can you sit back and rest knowing that YHVH has been with all things at all times? Or do you need a holy day of obligation to remind you? Hmmm….
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.” – J.I. Packer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7