Things are looking up toward the end of the Old Testament but old problems keep cropping up.
Ezra warned the returned exiles about intermarrying with foreigners. Nehemiah needs to make final reforms to the priesthood. Malachi speaks out against many sins of the priests.
They have returned to Jerusalem, they have rebuilt the temple, but things still aren’t right. As Nehemiah prays in chapter 9, they may be in the land but they are slaves in the land because of their own sin. The land is not theirs.
How wonderful then to read of the coming Messiah in the New Testament! God is coming to meet our need for a Savior. Several things stood out clearly as I read these passages in the gospels.
God is the initiator. He sends his angels to speak to Zechariah and to Mary. He sends an angel to Joseph to assure him of the plan. He sends his angels to the shepherds. Angels are everywhere to announce this great news.
The Holy Spirit breaks into the story. John leaps in Elizabeth’s womb and she’s filled with the Holy Spirit. He fills Mary and she prophesies. He fills Zechariah and he prophesies.
God knew our need. God came and met our need. Immanuel, Christ has come.