Jesus - Our PeaceDecember 7, 2022
“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6 ESV) Today at International Lutheran Church, we continue our Advent celebration by lighting the second Advent candle – the Candle of Peace. Isaiah’s idyllic image describes a peace that goes beyond human comprehension. This return to paradise is based on the actions of the “little child” that will lead us all. He is of the root and branch of Jesse – David’s son yet David’s Lord!
Biblical prophecy has two parts. The first is to show us our sin and the consequences of that sin. The second is to share with us the hope we have in God and the action He will do to bring about our salvation. Chapter 11 of Isaiah’s prophecy begins with this same powerful two-fold message. The image is of both the coming “shoot” or “branch” from Jesse, the father of King David, and the fruit of this coming branch. The theme of a stump is not a particularly happy thought. It means that first the tree must be cut down. Much of Isaiah’s prophecy is of the impending doom and exile that the people will endure because of their many sins. Yet from this “stump” will come a new and fresh beginning. Isaiah is clear to show us how this descendant of David is different than David or any other king of Israel. He will be filled with the Spirit of the Lord. He will judge in this Spirit-filled truth and not according to what He sees or hears. His actions are that of God the Holy Spirit. Both righteousness and faithfulness are His very garments. He is God in the flesh!
Isaiah’s second image is the result of this coming “shoot.” Note the unnatural result – a wolf and the lamb lying down together; a bear and cow mingling; and a lion eating like an ox. All these point to the perfected state of harmony and peace that this child will bring. In fact, the child will lead us all into this new state of peace and harmony by becoming the “shoot” even though He is the “root!” He is cut down. His lineage is ended so that we would be grafted in to God’s family through baptism. The Christ and Messiah of God, the Son of David, became a child of Mary that we would be made the sons of God. He came and was born of a woman, that He would redeem all people. Through His righteous life and faith-filled death on a cross, He put an end to our wild and untamed behavior. Through death He brought a peace that the world does not know – peace with God and peace with one another. Jesus, He is our peace!
As we continue our Advent celebration and light the Candle of Peace – we look to Jesus who is our peace both with God and with one another!