by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
The Prince of Peace, the Son of David, was announced by Isaiah. The story of his coming was proclaimed by the evangelists, each with a different emphasis. Jesus made God's kingship real in this world. Today, the kingdom is here—and it is coming.
Who is this ... with his garment stained crimson? It is I ... mighty to save.... I have trodden the winepress alone (Isa. 63:1, 3).
In chapter 61, Jesus is the one who announces the Year of Jubilee. In chapter 62, he works redemption in heaven and on earth. Here, in 63, he is a conqueror in blood-spattered clothing.
The redness of his garments is not due to his own wounds, as it was in chapter 53: "And by his stripes we were healed." Rather, here he executes the wrath of God on the enemies of God and his people. This is the winepress of the wicked.
In Isaiah's prophecy the year of God's favor is also the day of God's vengeance (61:2, 63:4). But when Jesus read the prophecy in the synagogue of Nazareth, he read only the announcement of the year of God's favor; he omitted the line about the day of vengeance (Luke 4:19).
We don't know how much we may read into that. It's certainly true that Jesus came to save and not to condemn, and that the day of judgment is a future event. Still, the bottom line is the same now as it was in Isaiah's day: the rejection of God's blessing results in our curse. Salvation and judgment, favor and vengeance always go together in God's work. The establishment of the kingdom of peace demands the removal of the realm of evil.
Let no one think lightly of Jesus' first coming as a baby. God is marching on. The grapes of wrath are fermenting. And every eye shall see the conqueror and the wrath of the Lamb.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version