Read Isaiah 52
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Weep over what your sins cost Jesus (52:13-15; 53:1-12)! God reigns, Jerusalem redeemed (52:1-12); Israel, the restored wife (chap. 54). Note 54:17 & 55:8-9! Obedience rewarded (chap. 56), repentance and forgiveness (57:15-21).
Here the promised Messiah-Redeemer is revealed as Immanuel (7:14), meaning God with us (Matt. 1:23). He also is described as Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6). And of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end . . . to establish . . . judgment and . . . justice (9:7).
Now the prophet asks: Who hath believed our report? (53:1). At His coming only a few believed Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matt. 16:16). When we shall see Him, there is no (physical) beauty that we should desire Him (Is. 53:2). There is nothing about Jesus to attract the world to Him, for He came from an obscure family (reared to be a carpenter) (Mark 6:3), was brought up in Nazareth (a despised city) (John 1:46; 7:52), and was born a Jew (not a Roman).
Still worse, He refused to cooperate with the popular religious views. He is despised and rejected of men (53:3). He claimed to be equal with God and He was violently pushed out of His own home synagogue, to be cast over a cliff (Luke 4:28-39). Most of the rulers and prominent religious leaders refused to believe He was their Messiah (7:48).
Many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him (John 6:66). Even His chosen apostles, at the most critical moment, forsook Him, and fled (Matt. 26:56). He was a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief (Is. 53.3).
The words sorrows and grief mean all physical pain of every kind. He did not hold Himself aloof from the suffering of mankind but identified with the helpless, sick, blind, leprous, poor, sorrowing, and those who had lost loved ones in death. At Lazarus' grave site Jesus wept (John 11:35).
We hid as it were our faces from Him (Is. 53:3), literally refusing to accept the great God of creation — the perfect, sinless Son of God who took upon Himself all the sins of those who would come to Him and receive His forgiveness. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him (53:5) — meaning that His chastisement ended the enmity between fallen man and the holy God.
Christ. . . . He is our peace, who . . . hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us (Jew and Gentile) . . . that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby (Eph. 2:13-16).
Thought for Today:
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety (Ps. 4:8).
As the One who was rejected by His own people (Is. 53:3; compare Luke 23:18; John 1:11); remained silent when He was falsely accused (Is. 53:7; Mark 15:3-5); was buried with the rich (Is. 53:9; Matt. 27:57-60); and was crucified with sinners (Is. 53:12; Mark 15:27-28).
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.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Agnes C. Hurns • Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Reverend Michael Hall • Country: Afghanistan (22.7 million) in central Asia • Major languages: Pastu and Afghan Persian (Dari) • Hostile to Christian evangelization. For a Muslim to convert to Christianity is automatic execution • 97.5% Muslim; 1.5% Parsee; .35% Hindu; .1% Traditional ethic; .1% Baha'i; .02% Christian; .02% Sikh; .01% non-Religious • Prayer Suggestion: Glorify God who is able to use national leaders to accomplish His purposes (Ezra 7:27-28).
Optional Reading: 1 Peter 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 10:28