The candle of PEACE was lit this Sunday on our Advent wreath, and we read this passage of Scripture from Isaiah 42:1-9:
Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.
Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the LORD; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”
During this second week of Advent we celebrate the good news that God sent His only Son into the world to become the true and better Servant, the true and better Israel, in order to bring justice to the nations.
Justice is important because it is the precursor to true peace. For there to be true peace there must first be true justice. That’s why Paul says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus took on the identity of Israel, as the “chosen servant” of Isaiah 42:1-9, so that Israel could take on His identity of being just and at peace with God. By becoming the “chastised servant” of Isaiah 53:4-6 Jesus made a way for justice and peace with God, not for Israel alone, but through Israel, for us all.
Jesus made an offering big enough to provide justice for all by becoming an offering of Divinity wrapped up in the flesh and blood of a sinless man.
The One through whom all things were created has come, and He has “taken us by the hand.” Therefore, what should we fear? Our LORD has authority over all things, and He has declared that He is for us, not against us!
On this second week of Advent, take comfort in the knowledge that through the person and work of Jesus we stand as justified before our Father. Trust Him, and find true peace.
As we anticipate the second coming of Jesus, when He will restore peace in all of creation, may we take courage to be peacemakers who bring the gospel to bear on the injustices of this world. May we go with the message of justice and peace to the fearful. May we be a light in the darkness.