The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light has shined.Isaiah 9:2 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
As we have seen in the previous post, it is the people who walk in darkness that see the great light. This is prophetically speaking, and in a literal sense speaks to the people of the nation of Israel. Yet we see that Galilee is to be the focus of the nations, this prophecy is a pattern. The people that walk in darkness apply to everyone. All of our minds are darkened by the corrupting influence of sin. That is why Paul wrote it this way:
The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth through unrighteousness.Romans 1:18 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Sin hides the truth. It veils truth. It brings darkness. and because of sin, humanity is in a precarious position that is indicted by impending death. All men dwell in the shadow of death. Hebrews tells us that all men have an inescapable appointment with death.
As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this comes the judgment,Hebrews 9:27 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
After that death comes judgment. That’s the doom and darkness. Yet… That verse ends with a comma indicating the thought is not yet complete.
so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to save those who eagerly wait for Him.Hebrews 9:28 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
This is the great Light. It’s Jesus! Isaiah is speaking to Him and His work to save all of humanity, first from the certain swift death justice for sin demands. He brings a stay of execution so that anyone may escape judgment.
It’s not just good news for Israelis, but for all men.
The night of the birth of Jesus… The sky erupted with stars. Yes, countless living stars proclaiming the goodness and goodwill. (Biblically, angels, and stars are treated as the same.) Doubtless, you know what happened.
And in the same area there were shepherds living in the fields keeping watch over their flock by night. And then an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were very afraid. But the angel said to them, “Listen! Do not fear. For I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find the Baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”Luke 2:8–14 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Suddenly there was with the angel a company of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.”
This is good news! A Child is born unto men. But not just any child, One that would bring blessing to all. He would bring peace showing God’s goodwill toward humanity.
That’s the reality of what some celebrate today. The anticipation loaded in Isaiah’s words. The great Light had come and shined on the people, all of them. Even in Isaiah’s time.