Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy, for water will gush in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the parched ground will become a pool, and the thirsty land, springs. In the haunt of jackals, in their lairs, there will be grass, reeds, and papyrus.
A road will be there and a way; it will be called the Holy Way. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for the one who walks the path. Fools will not wander on it. There will be no lion there, and no vicious beast will go up on it; they will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk on it, and the ransomed of the LORD will return and come to Zion with singing, crowned with unending joy. Joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee.
What do you hope for, and what do you place your hope in? As Christians, Jesus is our hope, and in the season of Advent we celebrate Hope
coming among us. This section of Isaiah from today’s passage describes how Hope will manifest itself when He comes.
Jesus alludes to these verses when the disciples of John come to ask Him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Luke 7:20). In Christ’s response, He presents the convincing evidence from Isaiah 35 that He is the Messiah
Barrenness Before Hope
Before these verses of hope, Isaiah contrasts what God brings with the barrenness of the unfaithful in Isaiah 34. The way of the world is destruction, leaving people and places wounded and broken. The imagery is stark: soil of sulfur, streams of pitch, and burning land from generation to generation lying in waste. The wild animals shall overtake the land, adding to the sense of desolation.
Jesus Is Our Hope
The Messiah brings something completely different – healing, seeing and seeing, hearing and hearing, the lame walk. The burning sand becomes pools, the thirsty ground becomes springs of water, echoing God’s provision for the Israelites in the desert. We see the same in our own lives and in our own hope. Places and circumstances that brought hurting and shame are redeemed into a testimony that glorifies God! Jesus brings hope into these broken areas because He is our hope.
The Way of Hope
Not only are things restored, but the Messiah brings us the Way
. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Isaiah 35:8-10 describes the Way provided for His people, a Way that is safe. We certainly know this worldly life is not physically safe for His believers, as nearly all of Jesus’ disciples were martyred. Jesus reminded us not to fear those who can kill the body but worry about the One who can destroy the body and the soul. While our physical safety will not be a priority in our bodies of flesh, we walk in complete confidence of the Lord’s protection and salvation, knowing that whatever circumstances we face or difficulties surround us, God walks with us. That
In a Christmas to remember, let us reflect on the promises fulfilled in Christ and the Way the Lord provides for those who are His, under His protection and to His glory. That changes how we live our day-to-day lives. He is our Hope.
Where is your hope found? Is it in your bank account, your job, your marriage or relationships, or health? All these are temporary and can vanish in the blink of an eye. Only Christ offers true and lasting Hope that will endure longer than the ground we stand on.