The Old Testament carries a spirit of eager anticipation. In that way, it’s a little bit like the Christmas season. Beginning with Adam and Eve, Old Testament patriarchs, prophets, poets, and people looked forward to better days, filled with hope for renewal and deliverance by the Messiah. And the Israelites were frequently in need of that hope—whether they were in captivity in Egypt or Babylon or held captive by their own sin or rebellion. Through it all, prophets reminded them that a Messiah, a Deliverer, would come “to proclaim liberty to the captives” (Isaiah 61:1).
That hope began to be realized when Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. The mighty Deliverer of Israel was born in a stable and laid in a manger (see Luke 2:7). But He wasn’t just the Deliverer of the ancient Israelites. He came to deliver you—to bear your grief, to carry your sorrows, to be bruised for your iniquities, so that with His stripes you can be healed (see Isaiah 53:4–5). This is why Christmas is so full of joyful anticipation even today. The Messiah came over 2,000 years ago, and He continues to come into our lives whenever we seek Him.