O Come, O Come Emmanuel: Verse/Antiphon 3 (Part II)
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save, and give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Yes, I’m still on this verse. And it’s only partly because I am a nerd.
Then a shoot will spring forth from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.Isaiah 11: 1
See that imagery? A shoot/branch coming up from the roots after the plant is cut down? That’s adventitious growth right there – when a branch grows from a place you wouldn’t normally find a growth node. It’s some pretty pernicious asexual propagation used by the most determined of plant species to keep coming back even when you’ve mowed it to the ground. Know why that wisteria you planted now has a couple dozen clones coming up throughout your yard? Adventitious growth. And here we’ve got the stubborn remnant of God’s people popping back up after being mowed down by years of oppression – adventitious growth!
Ok, end of bio-nerd geek out.
Why I’m really still on the references to Jesus as the rod of Jesse is because there is more to unpack; they speak so well to what He has done, is doing, and will do.
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little bow will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.Isaiah 11:6-7
Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious. Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.Isaiah 11:10-12
Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the shoot of the stem of Jesse is so much further reaching than re-establishing the people of Israel or rebuilding Jerusalem. It is about the root being a foundation for a gathering of peoples from all nations and establishing a glorious place where division, brokenness, and all of the residuals of sin are forgotten.
That is what Jesus is, right now, doing – standing as a signal and a gathering point for all peoples. By faith, we gather to Christ. By faith we are grafted into this living body – a body that will not die, no matter how it is cut back. By faith we look with great expectation for the day when the wolf will dwell with the lamb.
Again Isaiah says, “There shall come to the root of Jesse, and He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope.”Romans 5:12