August 11

 

Read Isaiah 52:1

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Christ to bear our grief, suffering, and sin; the Lord's everlasting love for Israel; everyone a sinner; a call to faith and repentance

 

God revealed to Isaiah that the Messiah, the King of kings, would first be My Servant . . . (then) He shall be exalted (Isaiah 52:13). Jesus first came as the Servant of God and as the Suffering Savior; but He will soon return highly exalted as the King of kings (see Revelation 17:14;19:16).

 

The Jews of the first century were looking for a warrior-king like David to deliver them from the oppression of Rome. The religious leaders' only concern was for a Messiah who would overthrow the Roman government. However, about 700 years earlier Isaiah had foretold of the Messiah: He was oppressed, and He was afflicted. . . . He was taken from prison and from judgment . . He was cut off out of the land of the living (He perished): for the transgression of My people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death. . . . You shall make His soul an offering for sin (Isaiah 53:7-10). Had they been in subjection to the Word of God, they would have recognzed their Messiah who provided deliverance from sin and freedom from oppression. This they refused to do.

 

He shall grow up before Him (the Lord) as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him (53:2). Dry ground illustrates the spiritual condition of the religious world without Jesus. He alone provides eternal life for all who confess their guilt, repent of their sins, accept His atoning death in their place, and follow Him seeking to obey His Word. That's why it's important to read all of it. Even though we fall short of what God desires us to be, Jesus continually makes intercession for us with the Father (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).

 

Surely He has borne our griefs (weaknesses, pain, sicknesses, diseases), and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4). This means He has met our emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of every kind. Although Isaiah was prophesying about the future, he wrote as if it were already an established fact — the Messiah was wounded for our transgressions (sins), He was bruised for our iniquities (idolatry, wickedness, sin): the (His) chastisement of our (that we may have) peace (with God) was upon Him; and with His stripes (whiplashes) we are healed (made whole) (53:5). Jesus' death on the cross provided the only means to end the enmity between sinful man and his Righteous Holy Creator God. This means that all repentant believers, Jew and Gentile alike, receive eternal life and become acceptable to Him through the death of the sinless Son of God when they pray to receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord. All other gods are false and cannot save anyone. There is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must (of necessity) be saved (Acts 4:12).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

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).

 

Word Studies:

 

52:1 uncircumcised = heathen (those without a covenant with God); 52:10 made bare His holy arm = revealed His power; 52:12 rereward = rear guard; 52:14 visage = appearance, countenance; 57:4 sport = ridicule; 57:17 frowardly = rebelliously.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Country: Jordan (5 million) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and English · Religious tolerance · 93% Muslim; 5% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those who are in adverse circumstances (Hebrews 13:3).

 

Optional Reading: 1 Peter 1

 

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 1:8