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Archive for the 'God Gets His Hands Dirty' Category

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

14. Why is He called Jesus?

 

With all that has been said in this series so far, ask yourself this question in relation to Jesus: “What’s in a name?” I wonder what your name means. Parents usually name their children after the hopes and aspirations they have for that child. For example, the name John means “the gift of God”. I know somebody called Grace, and her nature is that of somebody full of grace. My name of David means “beloved” and when my parents named me, it was meant to symbolize the love they had for me.

But what does the name Jesus mean? When Jesus was born, his very name imbued the reason he was born. The name Jesus as we discovered in an earlier message means “Saviour” or “One who saves or rescues.” The entirety of His birth, life and death was centred on this very role - saving and rescuing all those who would believe, receive and follow Him. We have seen in the testimony of the Apostles John, Peter and Paul how Jesus came to save sinners, to call people to follow, believe and receive Himself! This Jesus who proclaimed He was the only way to God!

Jesus’ conception and birth were extraordinary at every level. So important is our understanding of his birth that, according to the Gospel accounts, no fewer than 4 angels came to give a full picture of the event. Do you think that his parents, Joseph & Mary, ever gazed upon him, and thought “How misnamed He is”! They did not, because they knew the very purpose for which He was born. This Jesus, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is the most talked about person in history. Almost everyone has an opinion about Him. Jesus was born to confirm God's promises, to reveal God as a Father, and to be our representative before Him. Jesus gave us an example of how to live a holy life to the full. Jesus was not merely a man who received some special power. Jesus was not some strange creation that was half man and half God, with his human nature somehow absorbed into the divine. He was, as we shall see in the coming studies, much more than those ideas – Jesus was fully God and fully human!

Jesus came to serve all others and not to be served! Jesus came in order to call others to a life of following, receiving and believing in Him! Jesus came to reconcile people back into a peaceful and dynamic relationship with God by means of shedding his blood on the cross! Jesus trusted God to raise Him from the dead – and he did! Jesus – resurrected, ascended, glorified and exalted! Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world. Jesus Christ, who proclaimed “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

Jesus is a name, which is especially sweet and precious to believers. It has often done them good. It has given them what money cannot buy - that is, inward peace. It has eased their wearied consciences and given rest to their heavy hearts. The Song of Solomon describes the experience of many, when it says, "Your name is oil poured forth" (Song of Solomon 1:3). Happy is the person who trusts not merely in vague notions of God's mercy and goodness, but in "Jesus." Jesus proclaimed by the Apostle John, Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul as the saviour and rescuer of the world – just as his name Jesus means! I am bound to ask is Jesus your saviour and rescuer? Are you following, believing and receiving Him?

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

13. Jesus’ Kingdom

 

1 A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. (Zechariah 14:1-5)


As we saw in Isaiah 61 to 63, God has commenced doing a good thing through the Servant Messiah. At His first coming as a baby, this Servant Messiah ushered in the Year of the Lord’s favour. We live in that period of time now, and it will continue until the Servant Messiah, Jesus Christ, comes again in glory and majesty. He will take those obedient followers to the City of God. For those who reject Him and the free offer of God’s grace, there is the Day of Vengeance. Now in Zechariah 14, we get a different perspective. We get a vision of the Kingdom of God at that tie in the future. So let us take a flight with Zechariah, into the future to see what this Messiah’s Kingdom is like. Where Jerusalem is mentioned, is in fact talking about the New Jerusalem, the City of God!


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God Gets His Hands Dirty

12. Jesus’ Proclaimations

 

1 Who is this coming from Edom,

from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson?Edom,

Who is this, robed in splendour,Edom,

striding forward in the greatness of his strength?Edom,

‘It is I, proclaiming victory,Edom, mighty to save.’Edom,

2 Why are your garments red,Edom,

like those of one treading the winepress?Edom,

3 ‘I have trodden the winepress alone;Edom,

from the nations no one was with me.Edom,

I trampled them in my angerEdom,

and trod them down in my wrath;Edom,

their blood spattered my garments,Edom,

and I stained all my clothing.Edom,

4 It was for me the day of vengeance;Edom,

the year for me to redeem had come.Edom,

5 I looked, but there was no one to help,Edom,

I was appalled that no one gave support;Edom,

so my own arm achieved salvation for me,Edom,

and my own wrath sustained me.Edom,

6 I trampled the nations in my anger;Edom,

in my wrath I made them drunkEdom,

and poured their blood on the ground.’Edom,

Isaiah 63:1-6

 

Here the prophet Isaiah gives two contrasting certainties. They can be found in Isaiah 61:2. The two certainties are “the year of Yahweh’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God”. There will be the year of favour and the day of vengeance. The year of honour, as we shall see has already started. We don’t know when it will end, but we know that it will. The day of vengeance will be in the future sometime. Again we don’t know when that will be either. But we know it will all happen quickly, suddenly and without warning (Isaiah 60:22). Therefore people need to be ready and alert! The time of when it will occur is not known, but it is known who will end it – Almighty God.

 

To learn more about this mose amazing passage to do with Jesus Christ, use the links below to download and/or listen to the mp3 file. Thanks

 

 

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

11. Jesus' Rejection

 

1 Open your doors, Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedars!
2 Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen;
the stately trees are ruined!
Wail, oaks of Bashan;
the dense forest has been cut down!
3 Listen to the wail of the shepherds:
their rich pastures are destroyed!
Listen to the roar of the lions;
the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!
Zechariah 11:1-3

So far, we have seen that the future is glory for the Servant Messiah and all those who choose to follow Him! It is a future of hope, joy, excitement, awe, wonderment and glory. But that is only one side of the future.

In Zechariah 11, we come to another part of the future; the part of the future which is for all those who would reject God’s Servant Messiah.

While Zechariah talks in picture language and symbols, the overall message is startlingly clear: those who reject the Messiah, will in the future be rejected by Him! But we are not given the full details here, but rather are told the why it will happen.

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

10. Jesus’ Invitation

 

1 ‘Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Isaiah 55:1-4

Remember recently we looked at the City of God to come at some point in the future. A time where all those who believe will live and worship the Lord God Almighty for ever! Who is this invitation for? This invitation to join is to all people of all races and nationalities! But they have to respond to the call! Come! See! Taste!

To discover more about Jesus' invitation, please do download and/or listen to the Podcast using the links below! Come! Listen! See! Taste! Thank you!

 

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

9. Jesus’ Promise

 

16 ‘See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,’
declares the Lord.
Isaiah 54:16-17


God fulfils every promise made! In Isaiah 52, Isaiah started talking about a great homecoming for all those who believed. Then Isaiah gave a picture regarding the sacrificial suffering of the Messiah Servant. Now in Isaiah 54, we see the reason for the suffering. We see that because of this coming Messiah’s suffering and subsequent exultation and vindication, that God will make a New Covenant with all the peoples of the world!
God has always kept the promises He made with people! Promises to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and David were also kept by God! God is ever faithful and always true to His word! And here God reminds them through Isaiah of three promises or covenants He has made: Abraham, Moses and Noah.

To learn more about how Jesus fulfills these promises and more, please do use the link below to listen to the Podcast. Thank you!

 

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

8. Jesus’ Leadership

 

1 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms.
He gives showers of rain to all people,
and plants of the field to everyone.
2 The idols speak deceitfully,
diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
oppressed for lack of a shepherd.
3 ‘My anger burns against the shepherds,
and I will punish the leaders;
for the Lord Almighty will care
for his flock, the people of Judah,
and make them like a proud horse in battle.
4 From Judah will come the cornerstone,
from him the tent peg,
from him the battle-bow,
from him every ruler.
5 Together they will be like warriors in battle
trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.
They will fight because the Lord is with them,
and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame

During the time of Zechariah, the Temple was being rebuilt. The Temple, as you may or may not be aware, was central to Jewish worship. Indeed, central to Jewish life. But who would help give advice and solve the multitude of problems they were facing? Who cared about them? Well, Zechariah speaks into their situation with wise words. He has already likened the nation of Israel as being like sheep, and that God is their shepherd “Yahweh their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people; for they are like the jewels of a crown, lifted on high over his land. “ (Zechariah 9:16)
Throughout Zechariah 10, it is repeated again and again, that God will care for and bless them. But in order to receive the blessing and care, the nation of Israelites must seek, turn and follow. To discover more about this, and how it relates to Jesus and the story of Christmas, please do use the links below to listen to the Podcast. Thank you!

 

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

7. Jesus’ Arrival

 

9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
and the battle-bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River[a] to the ends of the earth.
11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;
even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.
Zechariah 9:9-12

THE KING IS COMING!

We have seen in Isaiah that the coming Messiah was a Servant Prophet, a Servant Disciple and a Servant King. We see this as we switch over to the Book of Zechariah to look at in more detail about this Servant King Messiah. Zechariah gives us a picture of how the Messiah will announce His arrival and what sort of qualities that this Servant King will have. He comes into Jerusalem on a donkey! The phrases ‘Daughter of Zion’ and ‘Daughter of Jerusalem’ are terms symbolizing God’s people who believe. It is a scene of exultation, excitement and emotion. The people recognize this man as their Messiah: their Servant-King.

This is Jesus, the Messiah who was and is a gentle King, reigning righteously, offering salvation and has setup the environment for peace on earth to reign. This Jesus, who through His sacrifice on the Cross enables all people of every nation to have peace with God and have God Himself live inside them.


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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.

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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).

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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.


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