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Bible Pathways 08/11/04

August 11

Read Isaiah 52 - 57

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), as the Suffering Savior; but He will soon return highly exalted as the King of kings.

The Jews of the first century were looking for a warrior-king, like David, to deliver them from the oppression of Rome. However, Isaiah had foretold of the Messiah: 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). During the time of Jesus the religious leaders' only concern was for a Messiah who would overthrow the Roman government. But their greater need was to be in subjection to the Word of God which provided deliverance from sin, then freedom from oppression. This they refused to do.

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 continues to make 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 (53:4). This means He has met our emotional and spiritual, as well as 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 God 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; 52:10 made bare His holy arm = revealed His power; 52:12 rereward = rear guard; 52:14 visage = appearance; 57:4 sport = ridicule; 57:17 frowardly = rebelliously.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Country: Mexico (100 million) in North America · Major language: Spanish · Religious freedom · 88% Roman Catholic; 4% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox

Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for those in authority over you (I Timothy 2:1-2).

Optional Reading: I Peter 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:1

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