Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
Isaiah 40:3 (NLT)
“Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, ‘Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make straight a highway through the wasteland for our God…’”
No one rolls out the red carpet quite like Hollywood. And not just anyone can walk on those red carpets. You need celebrity status and an invitation. With cameras and microphones poised, the public awaits the pomp and stance. What will they be wearing, and who will wear it best? With flawless hair and makeup, oohs and aahs emerge from the crowd as photographers angle for the best shot. A special path has been prepared for their entrance and nothing is to stand in their way. Separated by barriers, they remain out of reach. At just the right moment, they pause to smile while panning the crowd, then continue on their way. Moments later they are gone. The carpet is rolled up, lenses are snapped back on cameras, and crowds go home. We remain unchanged.
Isaiah 40 speaks of a very different arrival, but none less worthy of a red carpet. Isaiah foretells the coming of Christ, a humble suffering servant and king worthy of a king’s highway. Isaiah shouts that it is time to clear the path and build the road. The language used by Isaiah, indicates that this process will completely change the landscape: “Fill in the valleys and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken!” (Isaiah 40:4-5). These words of Isaiah are spoken again in the New Testament (Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4, John 1:23). As messengers would often proceed a king’s arrival, John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus to change the landscape of the world.
John invited everyone into God’s Kingdom, not just the Jews. There would be no barriers, anyone could approach, and lives would be changed forever. The Lamb was coming who was greater than he. But as the world watched for pomp and circumstance, many missed the King. Many still do today.
Will we listen to Jesus and the message of his Word today? Proverbs 3:5-6 says that when we trust in the Lord, that he will make our path straight. Not that we are worthy of a red carpet road, but that our Almighty King invites us to join Him on His. He washes us clean and makes us worthy to be in His presence. Let’s share this good news with the crowd! Every year annual Easter spectators momentarily turn to watch the red carpet. Are you red carpet ready, not by what we wear but by our love, to welcome them? Will you reach out to the crowd and share the hope you have in Christ? This Easter, who will you point to the One True King?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, help me reveal your glory to others. Show me people in my life who need to hear the message of your Good News. Show me how to be your messenger and build relationships that build roads leading to you. Show me how to reach out to others, and give me boldness and clarity as I speak of you. In Jesus Name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.