A Voice in the
Wilderness

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" Messiah: Incarnation "

..Timer counter 43:25

    "There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo! the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men. (Lk2:8-14)
Around the time this is being written I've been wondering about angels. What they look like. What our interaction with them will be. We are told that they exist to be in service to us who believe. (Heb1:14) And that we will "judge" angels. (1Co6:3) This, of course, in addition to their service to God. When Jesus rose from the dead it was an angel who was sent to announce the fact. And here, at Jesus' birth, a whole host of angels is gathered to celebrate and announce the occasion.
    "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee." (Zec9:9)
Interestingly enough, some of the most spectacular recognition of Messiah's kingship was from foreigners. He came "to His own, and His own did not receive Him" (Jn1:11) but the "wise men" from the east came looking for the one who's star they had seen in the east.
    "He is the righteous Savior, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen."
The Jews would continually belittle the "dogs" of the gentiles. But God came also for the salvation of "the world" (Jn3:16)
    "Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing." (Is35:5-6)
John had been put in prison after announcing "behold the Lamb of God" and in a moment of despondency sends messengers to Jesus,
    "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said to them, Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not stumble because of Me." (Mt11:3-6)
Jesus was fulfilling the prophecies concerning Himself. Notice it is not Question: Are you the Christ? Answer: Yes. But rather: observe the proof and fulfilled prophecy.
    "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Come unto Him, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and He shall give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him; for He is meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. His yoke is easy and His burthen is light. (Is40:11, Mt11:28-30)
But ultimatly Jesus came, not as the gentle shepherd but as the Paschal Lamb. He came -as- the SACRIFICE. He did not come to -do- this, that or the other thing, but to -BE- DEATH. "The wages of sin is death" (Rom6:23) "The soul that sins shall die" (Ezk18:4) God, the King of Israel, took on Himself our punishment.
    "who, being in the form of God, did not consider clinging, to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found comprised as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Php2:6-8)
Messiah was a human; He came "in the flesh". (1Jn4:2) He was tortured as a man. He suffered as a man.

After the soldiers had worked Him over good, Pilate brings Him out to the people,

"BEHOLD THE MAN" (Jn19:5)

    "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world" (Jn1:29)

    "He was despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting." (Is53:3, 50:6)

    "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisment of our peace was upon Him. And with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Is53:4-6)

    "All they that see Him, laugh Him to scorn, they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying: ~~ He trusted in God that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, if He delight in Him." (Ps22:7-8)

    "Thy rebuke hath broken His heart; He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man; neither found He any to comfort Him." (Ps69:20)

    "Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow." (La1:12)

    "He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of Thy people was He stricken." (Is53:8)

And after proclaiming with a loud voice:

"IT HAS BEEN FINISHED"

    "And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." (Jn19:30)
But the Serpent was only able to wound the Seed in the "heal". (Ge3:15) Death could not keep Him captive"
    "But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell; nor didst Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption." (Ps16:10)
Lazarus had been dead four days. He began to "stink" from rotting. (Jn11) Four days was considered (thoroughly) "dead". The flesh was beginning to 'rot'. The flesh was beginning the process of destruction (corruption). But as was prophesied and promised regarding Messiah, God did not allow His body to decompose. He was in the grave three days.

And so Messiah is -ALIVE-.

(I sometimes wish I could have a consultation with G.F.Handel regarding some of his choices, how he -ordered- these selections. How does the King "come in" before He's been raised from the dead? for instance)

    "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of glory." (Ps24:7-10)

    "Unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee?" (Heb1:5)

Another chronologically out-of-place item: As Jesus comes to John to be immersed, and the Father's voice from Heaven, "This/You is/are My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased" (Mt3:17, Mk1:11) And on the mount of transfiguration, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him." (Mt17:5) He never said this to angels. At Jesus' birth the angels were singing, "Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth, good will towards men. (Lk2:8-14)
    "Let all the angels of God worship Him." (Heb1:6)

- Next -

Note:
The accompanying recording is an 'oratorio': Handel's "Messiah". If you don't like opera you may not care for this (the two are very similar). Played non-stop the whole thing is about 2.5 hours long. But for the next five months the 'articles' take this work, divided up into sections, presenting the Scriptures and running 'commentary' which can be read by itself without the music. The entire history of Jesus on this earth is presented: From when He was first promised to Eve in Eden, crucifixion and resurrection, clear through to His glory in Heaven where He has judged sinners and is reigning with God in Eternal Life.

The oratorio itself is word-for-word from the KJV. God's Word set to music. If you just read the words it might seem a bit sparse at times. The performance may not be as 'puristically' "Baroque" as some musicians might prefer, but I believe it captures the 'spirit' of the work about as well as I've heard. And, sorry about the recorded quality: it both comes from LPs pressed in the 60s, and the MP3 format is the lowest quality for 'space' considerations.

The on-screen text is in three parts, corresponding to how the Messiah was originally published. Hopefully it will be obvious 'why' I have divided it up into the five sections as I did.


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