Prepare the Way of the Lord

Isaiah 40:3, A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of YHWH; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Of interesting note is that Isaiah says “YHWH,” not “Messiah” or some other title ascribed to the Messiah/Christ. Thus, John the Baptiser prepared the way not only of the Christ, but especially YHWH—the reign and rule of God in Christ. This is made explicitly clear in the baptism of Christ—God’s kingdom in Christ inaugurated. When people saw the face of Christ, therefore, they saw the face of God. Jesus Christ is YHWH in the flesh. Elisabeth makes such a confession whilst He was still in the womb (in Luke 1:25Elisabeth attributes “Lord” to YHWH the God of Israel, and in 1:43 she attributes “Lord” to the Christ in Mary’s womb).

As Christians, we are accustomed to the “normalcy” of the incarnation of God in Christ—we are used to it. But we should always be astounded—that God chose to be born an infant and walk among us! The almighty, holy God walked among us—something that wasn’t done since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8). Thus, what way did John prepare for this Holy God? Repentance, which is a condition of fear and humility. Our only disposition before the Holy God should be one of fear, reverence, awe, and humility, for He has the power to crush us in our sin. Yet in Christ He came not in wrath, but in grace and truth (John 1:17). In the way of God, we stand frightened, but our fear comes to an end as Christ stands in the way of God’s wrath and proclaims, “Your sins are forgiven. Enter into the joy of your Master.”

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