Advent Day 1-The Branch, Our Only Hope
"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit."
Redemption was always God’s plan for his children. In his omnipotence, he knew we would take the bite of sin and shrivel up into death. So, he made a plan- a plan to bring death to life, a plan to transform rot into fruit.
God’s story-the accounts and truths in the Bible-have always been about Jesus. From Genesis to Revelation, Jesus is written all over the pages.
Isaiah told us the Branch of redemption was coming 800 years before shepherds fell on their knees before a tiny baby in a manger. This Branch would be from the literal bloodline of Jesse. He would be full of the Spirit of God, wisdom, knowledge, might, and fear of the Lord. This Branch would be perfect.
I am always amazed by how Jesus literally fulfills the prophesies of the Old Testament. There are over 100 direct prophesies about the Messiah in the Old Testament. In his book Science Speaks, mathematician Peter Stoner calculated that for one person to accidentally fulfill eight of those prophesies, the chances are one in one hundred quadrillion. Jesus fulfilled them all. It was no accident. It was an extraordinary plan.
Our God is an extraordinary God who uses ordinary people. Jesse, a farmer and sheep breeder from the tiny town of Bethlehem, didn’t even bother to call in his son David when Samuel came to anoint the next king. But God chose the ruddy, young boy to be the man after his own heart. Though Jesse appears for a nanosecond in scripture, his name and bloodline are forever associated with the Savior of the World. God uses unremarkable people to display his remarkable glory.
Unremarkable we are. And yet, we are the fruit of the Messiah. In bearing the terror of the cross, Jesus took our rottenness and turned us into His lovely fruit- a beautiful and complete reversal of the deathly fruit we ate in the Garden.
He came, just as God promised us through Isaiah. And he is coming again to fix this world once and for all. The Branch is our only hope.
I made this ornament from a wood round, to represent the stump of Jesse. The pendant reminded me of a growing branch, so I added it. (Here is a similar one-though I might like this one more!) I printed the verse on clear sticker paper and adhered it to the round.
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