“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come and has redeemed His people” Luke 1:68.
When our son was born 25+ years ago, my husband and I were thrilled. We had experienced seven years of infertility and heartache, but God heard our prayers and this little baby boy came bursting into our lives. But in those seven long years of waiting I watched with an aching heart as my friends became Mamas – I hosted their baby showers and bounced their sweet babies in my arms. I cried and prayed and cried some more. I know God heard my prayers and saw my tears, but the time wasn’t right.
The Jewish people lived under the bondage of Roman rule and they cried out for a savior. The Messiah had been promised for hundreds of years yet they were still oppressed by a cruel and heartless enemy. Would God ever fulfill His promise? Would salvation ever come? Generations of Hebrews prayed the same prayer for relief, yet they went to their grave without ever seeing rescue. Yet the God of Heaven had not abandoned them or His promise. He had heard their prayers and saw their tears, but the time wasn’t right.
Until that moment when the angel visited Nazareth and spoke the words every Jewish girl had hoped to hear: “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28). Until all of heaven held its breath as the Son of God became the son of a young woman.
That day in the Garden sin came rolling in like a dark cloud of destruction and despair. The human race was placed under the bondage of evil and death. Even the planet felt the weight of the curse as it groaned for relief (Romans 8:19-22). Yet even before man could cry out to God He promised to send Someone who would crush the head of the evil one. He promised to redeem the world from the curse of sin and death. He promised to save the souls of men and women and break the chains of human bondage.
The first part of that promised was fulfilled in a stable in Bethlehem. The final fulfillment is yet to come when the Lord Jesus Christ – that baby in the manger – stands on the Mount of Olives and ushers in the end of evil and sin and death. God kept His promise when Jesus was born. He will keep His promise of final redemption. Don’t despair beloved, but keep your eye on the sky. The God who promised is faithful. It is as good as done.
Read Zechariah 14:3-9