Advent 2021, Week 3
By Jared Segerstrom
Week Three Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:15-21, Isaiah 42:1-4
Everyone loves heroes. Whether it’s enjoying the latest superhero movie, reading a fantasy novel, or playing with friends at recess, we love to imagine a hero rescuing the world from danger.
These heroes have magical powers, big muscles, superior smarts, and looks to match the part, most of the time. We love heroes who conquer villains, save people from doom, and solve the world’s problems.
As a world, we not only love a hero, but we also need one. Our hero doesn’t need to conquer an evil supervillain or rescue us from an asteroid; instead, he needs to conquer sin. You and I are hopelessly sinful. Our sin problem affects the way we think, the way we speak to others, the decisions we make, and every other area of life.
In fact, our sin problem is so bad that unless we are rescued, we will be separated from holy God forever. We need a hero – a Savior – who can pay for our sin and give us righteousness equal to God’s holiness.
In enters Jesus, the hero of Advent and the Savior of the world. Isaiah the prophet described Jesus as “God’s servant” in whom God delights. God the Son served his Father perfectly by entering this world, being born as a baby, and proclaiming justice to the nations.
Jesus is the only person to walk this earth and never sin. He never talked back to his parents, never fought with his siblings, never gossiped, and never complained. Jesus perfectly obeyed his Father. His ministry on earth wasn’t long, but he proclaimed God’s justice to the world while here.
But, when you look at how Jesus proclaimed justice, he didn’t lead a revolt against the government. He didn’t make friends with the most influential members of society. He spent time with tax collectors, the poor, and the sick.
He didn’t seek a huge audience but instead invested in a few people. He wasn’t the best looking, most athletic, or most popular. In fact, by the end of his life, his following dwindled to just a few people. Even then, he healed, prayed, forgave, and loved until he took his last breath.
Jesus died for the sins of the world, including your sin and mine. What might look like a tragedy – the Son of God dying for undeserving sinners – is actually a moment of victory and hope.
As Isaiah wrote, “The nations will put their hope in his name.” We have true, lasting hope for this life and the next life because Jesus saves. As a true hero, Jesus saves people who could never save themselves by sacrificing his own life.
But, we don’t need to feel sorry for our hero because Jesus conquered both sin and death. Jesus the hero rose from the dead, and everyone who trusts in him can also conquer death.
This Christmas season, let’s praise Jesus for entering this world as a humble baby. Let’s praise Jesus for proclaiming justice to the nations. Let’s praise Jesus for showing us what it looks like to lead with humility and kindness. Let’s praise Jesus for giving the nations hope through his death and resurrection. Let’s praise Jesus, our hero, who saves.
Reflection Question: One of the ways that Jesus proclaimed justice in the world was by investing in a few people. Who is someone that you can invest in the way that Jesus invested in people?
Prayer: Father, we praise you for the incarnation and voluntary humiliation Jesus suffered in order to proclaim righteousness to the nations. So help us this season to proclaim your peace and justice to the people in our lives.