Monday, December 5, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Annunciation to Joseph
Isaiah 35:1-10
Abey Cherian
St. Thomas MTC, Yonkers, NY
“But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”                Isaiah 35:10

The annunciation to Joseph recorded in Mat.1:21-25 is about a Savior who is to be born of Mary to redeem His people from sin. Isaiah who is often called as “The Messianic Prophet” prophesied this salvation of God in many of his writings.  Chapter 35 proclaims the transformation experience of the redeemed people of Israel from their enemies and its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ for the whole world. 
 
We can see the analogy of a barren land (Vs.1) for the people who strayed from God and chose to live in their own ways. Also the burning sand or mirage (Vs.7) is a symbol of vain hope of man’s self-efforts. However the redemptive work of God in His grace is a wonderful transformation experience for the believers in all aspects of their lives.

Glory of God: Verses 1-2 and 7 describes about the transformation of the barren land into a beautiful garden with the glory of Lebanon, Carmel and Sharon. Redemption in Christ is a restoration experience of the glory and splendor of God which God intended for mankind in His creation. As the mirage is transformed into a pool and bubbling spring (Vs.7) the believers will be filled with the glorious hope of Christ as an eternal experience. 
 
Confidence: Vs. 3-4: The salvation of God brings confidence to the believers, strengthening the feeble hands and knees. While sin brings guilt and fear, redemption gives boldness to come to His presence. (Hebrews 4:16, 10:20 and 12:12) 
 
Healing: Vs.5-6. Our Lord Jesus Christ provided spiritual and physical healing to those who came to Him. Faith opens the inner eyes of the sinners to see the light of the truth, opens their ears to hear the Word of God, opens their mouth to sing His praises and enables them with a new walk in Christ. 
 
Sanctification: Vs. 8-9.  The redeemed of the Lord will be walking on a Holy highway. This is a walk in Christ guided by the Holy Spirit and with the security that is promised in the Word of God.  
 
Joy: Vs.10.  Salvation replaces sorrow and sighing with everlasting joy and praises of the redeemer. 

Apostle Paul described this transformed experience in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! “

PRAYER

Lord, thank You for the great salvation You have given to us through Your Son. Enable us to live the transformed experience in its fullness. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
We are a letter from Christ, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God. (2 Cor.3:3)