“…and his name shall be called…Mighty God…”
December 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
Perhaps the most transfixing images of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are those of the rescues. It is difficult to forget the hundreds of people huddling on rooftop islands, some having spelled out pleas for help with their own clothes, waiting for deliverance. Over the days that followed we saw the Coast Guard do what it does best; as their helicopters hovered, trained rescuers were lowered on cables with baskets and harnesses to deliver the trapped to safety. Their courage, bravery and strength were all necessary in the right combination for the rescue.
But what does one do when no one can rescue—because all are trapped? Who will shine the light of life when all are trapped by the darkness of death? Who will deliver out of the death-grip of sin’s oppression?
It is only when we realize that all human hope has disappeared that the power and hope of the rescue of the Mighty God becomes powerful to us. Isaiah powerfully condemned Israel’s sin, clearly portraying them as beyond all hope of human deliverance because of their sin and rebellion against God. What is worse, there was no one—not even the priests—who could claim to be exempt from this deadly entrapment: “No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity….Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity…” (Isaiah 59:4, 7).
The only way that help can come is from one outside, one not trapped by sin. But what man can qualify? Only one who is without sin, and so it is that the child, though completely human, is also El Gibbor: Mighty God—the divine hero-deliverer!
A fitting savior, this child! For he is the God-Man, “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,” upholding “the universe by the word of his power”—yet the one who offers himself as “the purification for sin” (Hebrews 1:3) by his death on the cross.
However sin has oppressed us, Jesus Christ, the Mighty God, is our deliverer, our rescuer and our hope because his death provides forgiveness of our sin, which rescues us from God’s just wrath, and gives us his righteousness, which allows us to enter God’s presence without fear, now and forever.