Archive for April, 2008

Messiah as Substitutionary Sacrifice for Jews and Gentiles

WEDNESDAY

NIV Isaiah 53:4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Messiah, the Suffering Servant of God, was prophesied to be despised and rejected (Isaiah 53:3). But this rejection by Israel will not be permanent. They will one day recognize that he did not suffer for His own sins and will realize that He suffered for their sins (verse 4)! They will also realize that Messiah’s substitutionary suffering resulted in reconciliation with God (verse 5 and 6).

The writers of the New Testament (under the influence of the Holy Spirit) recognized the substitutionary suffering of the Messiah and incorporated this prophecy into their teaching.

NAU Romans 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

NAU Hebrews 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

The New Testament writers also recognized man’s propensity to ignore God’s standards (like sheep!) necessitating a substitutionary sacrifice to reconcile us with God.

NAU 1 Peter 2:25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

Although the picture being painted of man is not pretty, the picture being painted of Messiah as Suffering Servant is glorious.

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Messianic Surprise and Rejection

TUESDAY

NAU Luke 24:26 “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

From the beginning of God’s revelation to man, He has foretold of the coming of His Redeemer. Bits and pieces came at different moments in time but Isaiah provided a treasure trove of Messianic information.

NIV Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

After giving Israel a summary of what was to come prophetically in chapter 52:13-15, Isaiah begins to give specific details in regards to Messiah’s first coming. Israel’s response would not be joy at the hope of Genesis 3:15 being fulfilled but surprise (53:1). He would not be what they expected (53:2) and in fact, He would be despised and rejected at His first coming (53:3).

NAU John 12:38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?”

NAU Romans 10:16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?”

Isaiah 52:13-15 – a preview of Isaiah 53

MONDAY

NIV Isaiah 52:13 See, my servant will act wisely; {13 Or will prosper} he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him {14 Hebrew you} –his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness– 15 so will he sprinkle many nations, {15 Hebrew; Septuagint so will many nations marvel at him} and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.

These verses are a prelude of what is to follow. They are a summary of everything in Chapter 53. This section (52:13- 53:12) is so precise in its prediction of Messiah and His work that no man could orchestrate them into personal fulfillment. God sovereignly revealed what would take place 700 years before they occurred. So what did God sovereignly reveal 700 years before they occurred?

Verse 13 – That Messiah will receive international recognition when He finally rules in His established kingdom on earth (unfulfilled but promised again in Revelation).

Verse 14 – That Messiah will experience inhuman treatment that will result in his personal disfigurement, and the disfigurement will be so severe that He will be looked upon with amazement (fulfilled 2,000 years ago in the first coming of Jesus).

Verse 15 – That Messiah, though disfigured, will still perform His priestly duty not only for Israel but for the world, that He will eventually be exalted into leadership of the world, and that when He takes His throne, world leaders will stand in awe of His come back (partially fulfilled 2,000 years ago in the first coming of Jesus and ultimately fulfilled in His second coming).

We are in for a treat this week as we examine the details previewed in Isaiah 52:13-15.

Messiah – Promised, Despised, Rejected

FRIDAY

There are so many verses related to the first coming of Messiah – we could spend the remainder of the year commenting on God’s preparation for the entrance of His Chosen One into the world. However, as we end the week, we will close with our first mention of the Messiah’s rejection by those He came to redeem in fulfillment of Genesis 3:15.

NAU Isaiah 49:7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, To the despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers, “Kings will see and arise, Princes will also bow down, Because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

NIV Isaiah 49:7 This is what the LORD says– the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel– to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

KJV Isaiah 49:7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. {whom man…: or, that is despised in soul}

There is both despair and hope in this verse. The first part of the verse describes despair, that the Messiah will be despised and rejected by the nation He is coming to redeem. However, the second part of the verse offers hope because the rejection, although for a time, will be reversed. Messiah will go from despised Redeemer to exalted Redeemer and accepted not only by the nation rejecting Him but by all the nations of the world.

Next week we will take a look at Messiah through the eyes of Isaiah 52 and 53.

Isaiah’s Genesis 3:15

THURSDAY

Genesis 3:15 introduces for the first time the promise of a God-Man redeemer. But this would not be the last time this promise of the God-Man redeemer would be given. Thirty three hundred years after the promise was given to Eve and Adam, God repeated the promise – through the prophet Isaiah.

NAU Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

NIV Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, {6 Or Wonderful, Counselor} Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

KJV Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The first part of the verse shows the human origin of the Messiah. God shows Isaiah that a Son will be born in the human world, specifically into the Jewish world.

The second part of the verse shows the Divine nature that is combined with the human nature in the Messiah. This is seen in the four names used to describe the Messiah – all applicable to God but three exclusively so:

Wonderful Counselor (exclusive – cp. Isaiah 25:1; 28:29);

Mighty God (exclusive – cp. Isaiah 10:21);

Eternal Father (exclusive – cp. Isaiah 63:16);

Prince of Peace (exclusively used of God in Isaiah but sometimes used of men in other parts of the Hebrew Scriptures).

Messiah will be both Divine and Human, who will sit upon the throne of David to fulfill the Davidic promise of ! chronicles 17:10-14).

NIV Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Messiah will be Virgin Born

WEDNESDAY

From the Jewish perspective, no, from the human perspective the promise of Messiah appears bizarre! A Divine-Human who is born from the seed of a woman? Through the lineage of Abraham and Judah? Who will rule not only over Israel but the world? And who will be a prophet like Moses? Can it get any more controversial? YES! He will be Virgin born!

NAU Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

NIV Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you {14 The Hebrew is plural.} a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and {14 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls and he or and they} will call him Immanuel. {14 Immanuel means God with us.}

KJV 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. {shall call: or, thou, O virgin, shalt call}

There is much discussion over the Hebrew word for virgin (almah). It can mean both virgin or a young unmarried woman. The word is used seven times in the Hebrew Scriptures – all have the meaning of virgin in the context. The meaning of young unmarried woman can be found in Hebrew literature outside of the Scriptures, but in the Scriptures has the meaning of virgin.

Supporting this restrictive translation is the Septuagint (LXX) or the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures done by Jewish scholars. The word almah is translated parthenos which has the restrictive meaning of virgin. This is the word used in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth.

NAU Matthew 1:23 “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

According to Isaiah’s message from God, Messiah would have a miraculous entrance into the world – He would be virgin born.

Messiah will be a Prophet

TUESDAY

Not only will Messiah be a Divine-Human who comes from the seed of a woman through the line of Abraham and Judah, who will rule over Israel and ultimately the world, but He will be a prophet.

NAU Deuteronomy 18:18 ‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 ‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.

NIV Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. 19 If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.

KJV Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

This Divine-Human Messiah will be a prophet like Moses. How will the Messiah be like Moses in Moses’ prophetic office?

1) As a prophet He will speak directly with God rather than through dreams and visions:

NIV Numbers 12:6 he said, “Listen to my words: “When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. 7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house 8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”

CP: NAU Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

2) As a prophet He will respond to suffering by declaring and performing an act of redemption:

NIV Exodus 3:10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

CP: NAU Luke 9:22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” 23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.

3) As a prophet He will act as a mediator:

NIV Exodus 20:18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

CP: NAU 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

4) As a prophet He will act as an Intercessor:

NIV Exodus 32:30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin– but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”

CP: NAU Romans 8:34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

Messiah was prophesied to be a Divine – Human from the seed of a woman through the lineage of Abraham and Judah, who will rule over Israel and the world as well as perform the functions of and be a prophet.