Do You Know The Suffering Servant? #45

Post #45 for Dec. 6

Isaiah 49-53 

Hundreds of years before Jesus walked on this earth, Isaiah said a suffering servant, the Messiah, would come—an individual who would bring Israel back to God.

God would be glorified through this servant. (Isaiah 9:6-7, 42:1-9). He would be righteous and bring relief and justice for the oppressed.

This servant would free captives and be a good shepherd. Isaiah burst into song thinking of the joy the exiles would have reading these words (v.13) which gave hope of deliverance. They might have thought the Lord had forsaken them. But God would no more forget them or us than a mother would forget her baby. He’s even tattooed our names on his palms.

Messiah would be a “light for revelation to the Gentiles” as well as to Israel. Simeon, when he held baby Jesus in the temple, indicated Jesus was this Messiah, (Luke 2:27-32). The Lord had also said he would make his Servant “to be a covenant,” Jesus established this new covenant at the last supper with his disciples, (Mt. 26:26-28).

Other qualities are God’s strength and compassion. I sense the Holy Spirit speaking to me in Isaiah 49:25: “I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.” God fights against our enemies (physical and spiritual). He led me out of captivity like a shepherd. As Isaiah tried to convince the Judaeans to trust God, so the Holy Spirit convinces us to trust him, to wait with confident expectation. He will do what he has promised. His rescue of them and us does not depend on our past faithfulness, but on his mercy. God is both willing and able to rescue his people IF we will put our trust in him, relinquishing control of our lives.

“The Servant” is wise, encouraging, submissive to the Lord, brave, meek, dignified, grateful, determined to complete his purpose, trusting in God. The Sovereign Lord will rescue his people from sin through the obedience of his Servant. When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked his father to take away the “cup” he was supposed to drink. Yet, he said, “Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done,” (Matthew 26:39). God used that obedience to reconcile the world to himself.

After Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples and Paul spread the good news of salvation throughout the whole world. Likewise, if we submit to the will of our heavenly father, God can use us for good purposes. As disciples of Christ we wish to make a positive difference. When we let Jesus Christ be Lord, submitting to him in obedience, he enables us to be effective in God’s Kingdom. Jesus will work through us to do his will in whatever he calls us to do.

The ultimate problem of the whole human race, is alienation from God. Only the Suffering Servant’s death and resurrection could get rid of that alienation. Isaiah indicates the Lord will rescue his people from sin through the obedience of his Servant, but obedience to his Servant on the part of humans is also important. Isaiah encourages people to fear, obey, trust and rely on the Servant. We are called to show our trust in him by submissive obedience, and will receive joy when we live the way our Creator intended.

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