>I love falling asleep to the sound of rain. The pitter patter as it hits the buildings and falls to the sidewalk outside my window. Typically I find little to no correlation to rain and the Middle East, but for some reason, last night as I heard the rain pink against my window pane, I was reminded of a song. We are beginning to work on Christmas music at choir and one of the songs is called Winter Snow. No, snow is not the same as rain falling, though I find I have a similar emotional response to watching a gentle snow storm out the window. Part of the chorus reads, “You came like a winter snow, quiet and soft and slow.” Like those words, I found myself drawn into the serenity of the rain and found my mind in the Middle East, over 2000 years ago.
Jesus came in the middle of the night. He was born in an indiscreet town, in a barn with animals surrounding him. No one knew outside of his mother, Joseph, and the shepherds who got a heavenly invitation to come and find him. No one knew, and beyond a handful of people, no one cared. The King of the Universe had just been born as flesh into our world. The Savior of the World had made his entrance without fanfare or even recognition.
He was rejected by those he came to save.
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground ; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53:2-3)
When Isaiah said he was forsaken of men, he used the Hebrew word “chadel” (pronounced khaw-dale’). Quite literally, that he was rejected or deserted. Did you ever think about the word desert? We use it in the noun form as a desolate place, a place that is lacking something. In the verb form, it is to leave without intent of return. Jesus was left, with no one having the intent of returning to him and yet, he saved them…just as he saves us today.
I fully believe that we are living very close to the end times. What very close means, I don’t have any idea, but I see the impending return of the Christ who was deserted the last time he came. Oh, but this time will be different.
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
Those who have put their faith in Jesus will be changed into eternal beings to live with Him forever. We will be changed and Jesus, who previously came unnoticed, will ride in victoriously in His royal right. Everyone will know who He is and will bow at his feet. All Glory be to God.
For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), “I am the LORD, and there is none else.”I have not spoken in secret, in some dark land; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in a waste place ‘; I, the LORD, speak righteousness, declaring things that are upright. “Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; they have no knowledge, who carry about their wooden idol And pray to a god who cannot save.”Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. “I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. “They will say of Me, ‘Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.’ Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. “In the LORD all the offspring of Israel will be justified and will glory.” (Isaiah 45:18-25)