Highlights In Today's Reading:
You will love reading today some of the greatest prophetic Scripture and some of the best loved chapters in the Bible. It opens with a joyous song as, before their very eyes, the watchmen see the Lord bringing His people home (52:1-12)! Written seven centuries before Christ died on the cross (52:13-53:1-12), yet so vivid it seems Isaiah is standing at the foot of the cross describing the Savior's sacrifice and suffering to us. We see rewards always abound for obedience to God (56:1-7).
Thank God for His Word! Isaiah foretold: He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed (53:5). Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near (55:6) was given about 700 years before the birth of Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, who alone can atone for sin. Jesus confirmed this, saying: I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (John 14:6). Isaiah foretold the suffering that the Messiah would have to endure to redeem a sinner. As we read the first four books of the New Testament, we realize that these prophecies of Isaiah, from naming the place of Christ's birth, His significant birth, to the specific details of His sacrificial death and resurrection, were all fulfilled.
Christ suffered and died on the cross in our place and conquered death by His resurrection. It was on the cross He revealed His love and made the supreme sacrifice so each one of us could receive forgiveness for our sins. It was Jesus who said: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47).
Love for our Lord inspires us to communicate His gracious message of salvation to a lost and dying world: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
Natural death and spiritual death were both intended in the sentence uttered by God to Adam: In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:17).
Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father (I Corinthians 15:21-24).
Thought for Today:
There is no more important message in all the world than the Good News that Jesus died for our sins.
As the One who was rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:3; compare Luke 23:18; John 1:11); remained silent when He was falsely accused (Isaiah 53:7; Mark 15:3-5); was buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60); and was crucified with sinners (Isaiah 53:12; Mark 15:27-28).
52:1 uncircumcised =b> heathen (those without a covenant with God); 52:10 made bare His holy arm =b> revealed His power; 52:12 rereward =b> rear guard; 52:14 visage =b> appearance, countenance; 57:4 sport =b> ridicule; 57:17 frowardly =b> rebelliously.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Reverend Michael Hall • Country: Bosnia and Hercegovina (4 million) on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe • Major language: Serbo-Croatian • Little evangelism being done • 40% Muslim; 28% Serbian Orthodox; 14% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for the blessings of God upon your family and home (II Sam. 7:29).
Optional Reading: 1 Peter 1
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:17