Thursday, March 26, 2015

Jesus - suffering servant

Isaiah - Artist unknown
Isaiah - Artist unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 50:1-11

TO CHEW ON: "Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God." Isaiah 50:10

Isaiah 50:4-9 is one of four sections in Isaiah that Bible scholars have called "Servant Songs." These are passages that seem to refer to someone during Isaiah's time but are also fulfilled in Jesus. (The other ones are Isaiah 42:1-4 || Isaiah 49:1-6 || Isaiah 52:13-53:12).

Let's go through some of the verses of this Servant Song to discover if they truly are prophetic:

The Lord GOD has given Me
      The tongue of the learned..."
Note the observations of those who knew Jesus and interacted with Him in Luke 4:22, 32; John 6:68, and John 7:45-46.

      "That I should know how to speak
      A word in season to him who is weary..."
This brings to mind Jesus' wonderful invitation: Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest..."in Matthew 11:28-30.

      "He awakens Me morning by morning,
      He awakens My ear
      To hear as the learned..."
Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer with His father. At least twice He rose early in the morning, to pray (Mark 1:35) and to spend time in the temple (John 8:2).

       "The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
      And I was not rebellious,
      Nor did I turn away..."
Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane: "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39) is the utmost in surrender.

       "I gave My back to those who struck Me,
      And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
      I did not hide My face from shame and spitting..."
The accounts of Jesus' appearance before Pilate and Herod and His treatment by the Roman soldiers are graphic fulfillments of this (Mark 15:16-20; Matthew 26:67; 27:26-30).

       "For the Lord GOD will help Me;
      Therefore I will not be disgraced..."
Note Jesus' words of hope and assurance from the cross: "Today you (the thief who was crucified with Him) shall be with Me in Paradise....Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!" in Luke 23: 43, 46.

      "Therefore I have set My face like a flint,
      And I know that I will not be ashamed..."
Jesus' determination to see this thing through, along with His knowledge that His death was God's plan and would work out well is clearly communicated in Luke 18:31-33.

Prophecies spoken by Isaiah about 700 years before Jesus fulfilled them are just another reason to trust God — the Author of the Book. And so with confidence we can reply "We will walk in Your light. We will trust in the name of the Lord and rely on our God."

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for coming as a suffering servant for me. I know I can trust Your word and You (who see and know the future hundreds or years in advance) with my today and my whole life. Amen.

MORE: Jesus and the Old Testament

"The glory of Jesus Christ shines more clearly when we see him in his proper relation to the Old Testament," begins an article by John Piper. "He has a magnificent relation to all that was written. It is not surprising that this is the case, because he is called the Word of God incarnate (John 1:14). Would not the Word of God incarnate be the sum and consummation of the Word of God written?"

Piper then goes on to list five ways in which Christ fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and consummated the Old Testament regime. Here is the list:

1. All the Scriptures bear witness to Christ...

2. All the Scriptures are about Jesus Christ...

3. Jesus came to fulfill all that was written in the Law and Prophets...

4. All the promises of God in the Old Testament are fulfilled in Jesus Christ...

5. The law was kept perfectly by Christ...

- By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

Curious to see how he supports all that? Read all of "How Christ Fulfilled and Ended the Old Testament Regime."

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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