It’s hard to imagine what our world would be like if it were ruled in complete righteousness. Is such a thing even possible? Could a world now ruled by Satan (Ephesians 2:2) ever again see the righteous rule of God?
In Creation, the will of God was unchallenged. As He spoke the world into existence, each part of the cosmos came into being perfectly and immediately (Genesis 1:3–25). Although the world was directly created by the Word of God, He chose to have the earth governed by a humanity made in His image and empowered to rule on His behalf.
When creating man and woman, God bestowed on them a creation blessing through which He imparted the fullness of life enabling them to manifest His righteous rule on the earth (1:28). This act was not a mandate containing commands they could pursue—or should attempt to pursue—apart from the gift blessing given to them. Instead, they were to operate out of this gracious gift as they mediated God’s earthly rule.
Unfortunately, the man and woman fell from blessing when they chose to obey the serpent (Satan) rather than God (Genesis 3). Without the fullness of God’s life, His gracious gift of blessing, humanity could no longer represent God’s righteous rule. If God’s reign were to be re-established on the earth, it would need to be done by One who shared the fullness of God’s life.
Eight hundred years before Christ, Isaiah spoke of an individual, a Servant chosen by God, upheld by God, and empowered by the Spirit of God to bring justice to the nations. This Servant would mediate God’s righteous rule over Israel and the nations of the earth.
As you reflect on the manger this Christmas, remember that Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, is God’s chosen Servant. He is the One who is upheld by God the Father and empowered by God the Spirit to rule in complete righteousness over God’s kingdom. As we celebrate His first Advent, let us long for His second!