"The Root and the Offspring of David" Rev. 22:16
by Rev Fr. Mathai Varkey Puthukkunnathu
I am delighted to share with you the following thought, as we prepare to celebrate the blessed Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 11:1 ”A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” This prophecy is fulfilled at the Incarnation of Christ, our Lord. Jesus who came in the lineage of Jesse and David becomes a refuge for all peoples and nations as per Isai: 11:10. –“ In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.” The Son of God takes the form of Adam to become the ultimate Sacrificial Lamb, to transform the sinful nature of man, thereby opening up a path of salvation to the entire humanity. This is comparable to what happened in the land of Egypt as described in the book of Exodus; “When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” Exodus 12: 23. This is a parallel to the substance of His redemptive Incarnation, originated in Bethlehem and concluded in Calvary. And it is clearly reaffirmed in the book of Revelations: I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." Rev. 22: 16
At His glorious birth the angels sang "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 2:14. We ought to praise the Lord to be qualified for enjoying the heavenly peace. The Peace Jesus offered to the disciples was not similar to that of the world. John 14:27 ” Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” Peace that is offered by the world is so momentary, perishable and unreal like a mirage. But the divine peace is everlasting, imperishable and real. The world we live in is incapable of offering the eternal peace. Think about what is going on in this tumultuous world. The endless suffering caused by the wars, diseases and natural calamities and other human made atrocities devour the humanity day by day. Bethlehem (Baitho de lahmo – home of the leavened bread) - in Israel / Palestine where Christ was born is also the epicenter of unrest and turmoil. The heavenly peace is lacking even among Christians who are supposed to be enjoying it in themselves and offering it to others. It might be because we are after the peace and comfort that are offered by the world. Those who enjoy the divine peace are the ones glorify God through their daily lives. A world and a humanity that are not ready or willing to glorify the Name of the Lord would not enjoy the divine Peace. The Lord who came down from heaven and became the imperishable food for us, for ending the relentless human suffering is going to come again to retain and safeguard all that belongs to Him.
Revelations 7:14 “answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." The Kingdom of Heaven is portrayed in this passage. Through His Incarnation, Jesus Christ made it possible for us to attain this sublime state.
Hence, we should make every effort to make lasting and God given Peace and enjoy it within ourselves and share it with our families and our communities when we celebrate the Divine Nativity of Jesus Christ. And certainly JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.