Friday, July 27, 2012
Welcome to Day 208 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: Isaiah 50; Isaiah 51; Isaiah 52; Psalm 92; 2 Peter 1 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Isaiah 49-52 outline the Servant’s mission. Speaks of Cyrus and Israel’s liberation from Babylon, but also prophetically speaks of Jesus, THE servant.
Isaiah 50:6 is a clear reference to Christ. “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.”
Isaiah 51:11, “They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.”
Isaiah 52:15, “so he will sprinkle many nations…” A crystal clear reference to the blood of Christ, the spotless lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Psalm 92:1, “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, 2 proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…”
2 Peter 1:19, “We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
Isaiah 52 is an amazing prophecy about the (then) coming Christ. Of course we have the benefit of looking back and reading with a different perspective, seeing it’s fulfillment in Jesus, from his birth (Isaiah 9) to his crucifixion. (Isaiah 50.)
“So he will sprinkle many nations…”
When John the Baptist announced, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” this had special meaning to the hearers… They understood that phrase, language and the implications.
“He [Moses] sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them.” Leviticus 8:11
Consecrate means “to sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate.”
That is to what God is calling us! To be set apart. To be prepared, dedicated, holy… separate. Set apart for Him and His purposes in our lives.
The crowd knew EXACTLY what JtB meant by “the Lamb of God” whose blood would (metaphorically) “sprinkle many nations.”
As western Christians, centuries later, we have to really work to connect all those dots…
Yet we also have a huge advantage! We have the benefit of looking back over millennia, seeing the big picture, how the Old and New Testaments fit together, how the New completes the Old. The fulfillment of all those prophecies!
These are exciting times in which we are living!
I often think about what Jesus said to Thomas (after the resurrection!), “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
We fall into that category… “those who have not seen and yet have believed.” We are blessed for our having faith in what we haven’t seen. Jesus’ disciples saw with their own eyes, all the miracles and his coming back to life after being crucified. Israel had centuries of history of following the pillar of cloud and fire, seeing God move and act on their behalf, Parting the Red Sea, providing manna every day. Water from a rock. Seeing thousands of bulls and goats sacrificed… their blood sprinkled on the altar for the (temporary) covering of sin.
Jesus’ blood removed, forever, our sin! And not ours only, but also “the sins of the whole world!” (1 John 2:2b). (All one has to do is put their trust in Jesus. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 2:2a).
Thank you Lord for the price you paid for us! For your blood that was shed, and sprinkled on the nations!