Consider for a moment the shoulders of Jesus, about Whom Isaiah is speaking.
Writing during uncertain times that had seen a decline in government quality, this Old Testament believer and preacher was given to predict a new and better king:
‘Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever.’ (Isaiah 9 v 6-7)
God gives the world a king both able and worthy to rule universally. As His influence spreads so do justice and kindness. Where people reject or neglect Him society returns to cruel barbarism.
The Apostle Paul claims that because Jesus humbled Himself to serve in perfect obedience, God ‘exalted him to the highest place and gave him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.’ (Philippians 2 v 9-10)
In the last book of the New Testament the Apostle John is given a vision of the risen Jesus as ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords’, ‘coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him…’ (Revelation 19 v 16 and 1 v 7)
But not only are Jesus’ shoulders broad enough to bear the weight of government. On one dark day outside Jerusalem these same shoulders bore the sin of the world.
Eyewitness John describes Him being led out to be crucified ‘carrying his own cross’. (John 19 v 17)
Peter the Apostle echoes Isaiah 53 when he writes, ‘He himself (Jesus) bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness, by his wounds you have been healed.’ (1 Peter 2 v 24)
Because He stretched wide His shoulders to carry our guilt and punishment on the cross, Jesus can rescue us from condemnation and every form of lostness. Alive again and reigning, He can save us from our own worst selves and bring us home safe to God our heavenly Father.
Consider the devotion and compassion He describes in the parable of the Good Shepherd who won’t rest but seeks until he finds his lost sheep, ‘puts it on his shoulders’ and goes home rejoicing. (Luke 15 v 5-6)
Well have Keith Getty and Stuart Townend put it in their hymn:
‘My heart is filled with thankfulness to Him Who bore my pain;
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace and gave me life again;
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness…
Sustaining me with arms of love and crowning me with grace.’
The government is and always will be on Jesus’ broad, generous, wise and compassionate shoulders and one day, willingly or otherwise the whole world will acknowledge it.
Might be an idea to do it today!
Happy Christmas! Grace and peace to everyone!