Wednesday, December 16, 2009

O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse

"O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:55-57

The Rod of Jesse was prophesied in Isaiah. Jesse was the father of King David, and Jesus was born out of David's lineage - a "branch" as it were out of the stem of Jesse. Isaiah said that this man would have the Spirit of the Lord, and the spirit of wisdom and knowledge and fear of the Lord (sound familiar?) and that He would be a righteous judge.

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:1-6

The people of Israel were crying out for a Messiah to save them from the tyranny of Satan. The writer to the Hebrews tells us that God had to send Jesus to become flesh and blood, just like His children, so that through His death the devil would be rendered powerless.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14-15

By His death and resurrection, His people were set free from the bondage (slavery) to sin (and ultimately death) that enslaved them.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:2

They needed a Messiah to free them from their sin, something that could not be accomplished through the law of Moses, which they were living under.

Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. Acts 13:38-39

The people needed a Savior.

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
Matthew 18:11

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17

Christ came to save the world from sin, and also to save us from the wrath of God.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:8-10

Rejoice! Through His birth, life, death and resurrection, we too have the power of victory over the grave!

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

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