“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root” (Isaiah 11:1, NLT).
In the aftermath of a forest fire, everything looks black and bleak. But as most people know, with time, the seemingly dead landscape buds with new life. Some seeds need the heat of fire to kick into gear and sprout. The Israelites had been through the fire so to speak: slaves in Egypt for 400 years, later enduring wars, takeovers and more captivity. They longed for deliverance from a Savior but the future looked bleak.
Isaiah’s prophecy of a green shoot growing out of the stump of David’s royal line gave the downtrodden Israelites hope that life would indeed come out of their fire-blackened history. Jesus was the shoot appearing from the old, dead-looking root who would grow into a Branch that would cover the earth with the refreshing shade of grace, mercy, salvation and new life. For anyone living in the soot and ashes of hopelessness, he is the tender shoot who restores hope. The birth of the Messiah reminds us he is the only one who can bring life out of death and turn the world green again.