Category Archives: Christmas

This is NOT a post about Jesus…

Gotcha! Now that you’ve clicked on the link, you might as well keep reading. In case you don’t understand what just happened, read the last two blog posts – you’ll understand.

This morning I was reading in Isaiah 9, and couldn’t help but write something about this incredible prophecy:

[For to Us a Child Is Born]
[9:1]  But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

[2]  The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shined.
[3] You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
[4] For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
[5] For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
[6] For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
[7] Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
(Isaiah 9:1-7 ESV)

I love reading about Jesus in the Old Testament. Sometimes it’s not always super obvious, but it’s always there. I especially like where Isaiah talks about those who “walked in darkness” in verse two. That was me, and if you know Jesus, that was you. But because of the manger, cross, and resurrection, we have “seen the great light.” Let this awesome Christmas passage bring your attention back the Jesus today.

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Posted by on December 17, 2010 in Christmas, Jesus


Justin Bieber vs. Jesus

Why is it that I can write a blog post about Justin Bieber and get 147 hits, and then write a blog post about Jesus Christ and only get 22 hits? Maybe I just picked a bad day to write about Jesus. I mean, this time of year there is obviously more important things to read about. Guess that speaks volumes about our culture. I bet those shepherds would have bet their best sheep that the day would never come when a 16 year-old Canadian pop-star would outpopularize the Savior of the world.

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Posted by on December 16, 2010 in Christmas, Jesus, Uncategorized


… and shall call his name Immanuel.

In trying to get into the spirit of Christmas, I’ve started reading some key “Christmas” passages as part of my devotional reading each day. I decided to start in the book of Isaiah, beginning with chapter 7. I’ve gained a much greater appreciation for the book of Isaiah since my trip to Israel this past summer. This book is so full of Jesus it’s incredible. Something about walking where he walked and being among his chosen people really helped me understand the anticipation and longing that surrounded the birth of this child. The Jewish people had been earnestly waiting and watching for their Messiah for over 400 years. Here in Isaiah 7, God first promises a sign of deliverance to King Ahaz:

[The Sign of Immanuel]
[10] Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, [11] “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” [12] But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.” [13] And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? [14] Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. [15] He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. [16] For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. [17] The LORD will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria.”
(Isaiah 7:10-17 ESV)

One of the coolest things about Isaiah is being able to see prophecies like this one fulfilled later on in the New Testament. This particular prophecy is fulfilled here in Matthew 1:21-23:

[20] But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
[21] She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” [22] All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

[23] “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).
(Matthew 1:20-23 ESV)

You can imagine the kind of excitement and relief the announcement of the fulfillment of this prophecy must have brought those who believed. Roman oppression was at it’s peak, and the Jewish people were desperate for deliverance. Furthermore, you can imagine their surprise, when their promised “Messiah” shows up as a crying baby. God chose to send his Kingdom to earth in the form of an infant. But that’s a blog post for another day.

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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Christmas

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