by David Schnittger
Last week, we recounted the daring hostage rescue operation known as Operation Entebbe. As amazing as this was, this cannot hold a candle to the daring hostage rescue operation revealed in the book of Isaiah. This was a rescue operation that was universal in scope and timeless in application.
We read in Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. What an amazing sign would signal the commencement of this astounding hostage rescue operation. A virgin who is pregnant! Talk about an oxymoron! This was a sign that was never seen before or since.
We read in Isaiah 9:2: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. The need was universal. All mankind walked in the darkness of sin and ignorance. Not only was the human race held hostage, but was blindfolded as well.
We read in Isaiah 61:1: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good things unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.
This hostage rescue operation was unequaled in its scope and ambition. It was literally a cosmic rescue operation to liberate the entire elect body of humanity for all time! When Christ was crucified, he descended to Hades. Having overcome Hades at His resurrection, 40 days later he ascended into Heaven, and carried the redeemed from before the cross up with him to Paradise. The captives he liberated were those who had died, having faith in the coming redeemer. Soon and very soon, He will return in the clouds to catch up those who have believed in Christ since the ascension. This will be the next phase of Christ’s universal hostage operation. We celebrate all of this at this Christmas season. Hosanna and Maranatha!