google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2017 December

Archive for December 2017

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

6. Jesus' Sacrifice

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

 

In the first Servant Song we saw that the Servant King will provide freedom, self-respect and justice for all. In the second Servant Song it was revealed that the Servant Prophet will bring comfort to people and have compassion on the afflicted. For the third Song we saw that this Servant Disciple will live a perfect life of discipleship, to show that it is attainable and that a life of total obedience to God and trust in God for all things is possible. Then we saw in the last chapter that there will be a big homecoming for the people of Israel and for all nations.
During the previous Servant Songs, we saw glimpses of the suffering this Servant who is both a King and Prophet will endure. Now in this section, this Servant Song we get the full picture of suffering and why He must suffer. This is how people will on the last day be consummated with God and attention is now back on him as 52:13 states “Behold, my servant”.
Echoing previous passages of where the Servant is God’s. It is as if we are meant to understand that nothing that has been said before is as important as this passage. Without this passage of Scripture, none of the rest makes sense. Let us discover together why that is so by downloading and listening to the Podcast using the links below.

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

5. Jesus’ Encouragement

Isaiah 51:1 - 52:12

 

Here in the ancient book of Isaiah, we see that faith is nurtured by listening and hearing. People are encouraged to look back and see what God has done with just one man, Abraham! How from him came an entire nation! This bodes well for the future when all history is consummated – have faith in your God who will lead you into the next world! But for now, don’t be afraid of what other people will do – stay close to God, have faith in Him, trust Him patiently and live obedient and righteous lives. For as verse 6 states:
“my salvation shall be for ever,
my righteousness will never fail.” (Isaiah 51:6)

Then we come to a mounting anticipation with baited breath. Quickly the phrase “Awake! Awake!” is repeated, as if to give a sense of urgency. The exodus from Egypt, an event remembered well by the nation of Israel and alluded to in Isaiah 51:9-10, will be surpassed by a new age of righteousness at the end of time. All those “ransomed by the Lord”, those set free by God will enter the city of God with joyous singing which will be their crown! Sorrow and sadness will no longer exist! Gladness and joy will be triumphant! Alleluia! Despite many obstacles in the way, the Lord God will reign triumphant. His Messiah, His Servant will deliver you. His Servant will be triumphant.

To find out more about Jesus' Encouragement, please do download the mp3 using the links below...

 

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

4. Jesus’ Obedience Isaiah 50:4-11

 

After discovering some of the things that will identity the Servant in the first Servant song and finding the Servant’s mission in the second Servant song, we now see obedience in this the third Servant song. It is obedience of God and trust in God regardless of spite, evil, malice and bitterness. From verse 4 we see that the Servant is willing to learn. This willingness to learn is a lifelong learning as indicated in the phrase “morning by morning”. Each morning the Servant awakes and is ready to be fully obedient to God throughout the day.

On top of that his words have power. He is able to give comfort and counsel as He consoles the weary, despised and rejected. Those people who like Him are undergoing trials, temptations and having to endure. This Servant in no way rebels against God, and this Servant is sinless and offers faultless obedience to God (v5). Nothing will stop Him from living a life of obedience to God, hence not retreating or hiding (v6).

To find out more about Jesus' Obedience, please do download the mp3 using the links below...

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

03. Jesus' Mission

 

In Isaiah 49:1-13, we have it is universally called the second Servant song, and here the Servant Himself is speaking! We have no idea of his actual name, but He does have a name (Isaiah 49:1)! In the first Servant song, with the dispensing of justice as part of His identity, the Servant is a King!

But not just a King, something more as well! In this song, the Servant appears as if He is a prophet by the things He is saying. He was called Isaiah 49:1) just as Jeremiah was. The words He speaks are as if a double-edged sword (Isaiah 49:2). Despite the opposition (Isaiah 49:4), He perseveres to gain the reward and to glorify God (Isaiah 49:3).

What is His name? We find His name is Israel! Not the nation of Israel itself, but as a person who embodies all that Israel was meant to be and do. This Servant would glorify God in all His ways. This servant is a Prophet who is also a King. This Servant is a perfect incarnation of God’s light, covenant and salvation.


To find out more about this Servant's Mission, download the mp3 using the links below.

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

02. Jesus' Identity

 

In Isaiah 42, we have what is almost universally called “The 1st Servant Song”. In this book of Isaiah, one of the key words is “Servant”. In Isaiah 41, the nation of Israel is also called a “Servant of God”. Isaiah himself has been called a servant of God (Isaiah 20:3).


However, here in Isaiah 42, it is as if the phrase “Servant of God” has taken on a new meaning – someone who is unique, special. God Himself is speaking, and announcing “my Servant”. By looking further into what God says, we know it cannot be Israel. If anything, Israel is the bruised reed or dimly burning wick. Remember Israel was to be a light to the nations and reflect God to the whole world. In chapter 41, Isaiah describes Israel as always complaining resentfully, fearful, discouraged and embittered.


Later in Isaiah 42, we see Israel described as blind, deaf and disobedient. This is not the ideal that Israel was to aspire to, but rather one person who would be God’s response to Israel’s failure and weakness. So, what does the rest of this passage tell of the identity of the Servant, the Messiah whom God would send?

To find out what we think the answer to this question is, please do download the mp3 using the links below...

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

01. Introduction

 

The birth of Jesus Christ is the most celebrated around the world. These celebrations are diverse and transcend cultures, peoples, and languages. Of course, most people stop with Jesus being a baby and continue no further with Him. Jesus Christ is the most unique person in history. Jesus Christ is also the most divisive person to be found at anytime and anywhere.

Almost everyone has an opinion about Him, even if that opinion is based on ignorance, silence or misinformation. Christians believe that Jesus’ birth was the culmination of thousands of years of God telling the world that He was coming. From the time of the Fall when people showed active rebellion and disobedience towards God in Genesis 3, God was planning the time when He would step into history as a saviour or messiah. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is this messiah.

Throughout the Old Testament, we see that the birth, life and mission of this Messiah is the aim and focus of attention. We see it in the stories of people such as Abraham and Moses. We see it in the nation of Israel, which was to be God’s light to all the nations. We see it in the Israelite sacrificial system and law. We see it during the time of the Judges and the Kings. We especially see it through the prophets. The whole Old Testament is joined together, because it all speaks about this Messiah baby, Jesus Christ. This baby, who was both 100% human and 100% divine, grew in wisdom and stature. This baby was born in order that He would die on a cross some 33 years later. He did not die for his own sins, but for the sins of the entire world – all past, present and future sins. This baby was born to die so that the entire world may have life and life everlasting, if an individual chooses to accept it.

As we go through this adventure, we start together, by looking only at what two people from the Old Testament, had to say about Jesus Christ. These two people we know as Isaiah and Zechariah. Let’s start the adventure together by looking at an introduction to these two books of the Bible.

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