Isaiah 59:17-17. 20 He saw that there was no man—
He was amazed that there was no one interceding;
so His own arm brought salvation,
and His own righteousness supported Him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and He wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.
20“The Redeemer will come to Zion,
and to those in Jacob who turn from transgression.”
This is the Lord’s declaration. (HCSB)
During Israel’s history, both as a united and a divided kingdom, there were leaders and kings that wanted to do what was right. If you had polled the assembled group of judges, military leaders and kings, a good number would have said (and probably meant) that they wanted to lead their people correctly.
A much smaller faction came closer to succeeding. These were the ones said to ‘walk in the ways of his father David.’
But even in that tiny percentage of godly kings, not one could intercede for his people. Not one could legally take on the role of priest, while remaining king. Those that tried, received punishment.
Equally true, not a single priest could become king while serving the nation as a priest.
Yet to fulfill Scripture, the Messiah needed both roles and qualifications. Something, someone totally to humanity was required.
Throughout Scripture, God painted the picture of the Messiah in little bits, words and phrases. Like a paint by number taking shape, it wasn’t very clear.
Then God gave Isaiah the colors that filled the face and made it clear that only a Messiah who was god, priest and king would be capable of redeeming man. The arms of humanity are too short to save. Our best efforts to aid our fellow man fall drastically short.
Anna knew that God and the Messiah were one. Perhaps it was because of her gift of prophecy. But whatever the reason, Luke is very clear.
“At that moment… she began to thank God and spoke about Him to all who looked forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”
The God she thanked and the Messiah she spoke of are linked as equals.
God had sent his own arm to bring salvation!
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas