9. Messiah's Invitation
Isaiah 55:1 - 56:8
Remember from Day 8, that we talked about the City of God to come, where all those who believe will llive 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 and taste
"Come", cries Almighty God through the prophet Isaiah. Come! The gates to my City are open to all who believe! There is no entry charge, its free! This food is free for all! What is this food? It is mercy and pardon. Mercy from God and pardon for sin for all those who respond to the call God has put out.
Everlasting Covenant Disclosed
This is the everlasting Covenant (Isaiah 55:5-6) or the new Covenant we have talked about and was proclaimed by other prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Just as each of the previous covenants had a symbol to authenticate the agreement, so does this! Noah's covenant had the rainbow, Abraham had circumcision and Moses had the sprinkling of blood. This new and everlasting Covenant will also have a sign! The sign is disclosed in 55:13 as a everlastingly transformed universe! Amazing! This is the climax of Isaiah so far! This is why the Messiah Servant must suffer in Isaiah 53! This new everlasting covenant does not cancel the other covenants, but rather fulfills them. The final result of the Messiah Servant's work will be everything that Almighty God has promised and all promises of God will find their Amen in the Servant.
Everlasting Covenant Result
Because of this New Covenant, even though Israel will go into exile, they will return from it stronger. As in Isaiah 55:4-5, David was made a witness to the covenant and leader of people, so too will Israel. Once restored to the land, this Messiah Servant will come from Israel, and Israel will be used to conquer people spiritually for the Lord.
And this is no dream, hallucination or fantasy as some of the people of Israel would be thinking. But the thoughts and mind of God is so much higher than mere mortal humanity. For as Isaiah 55:8-9 states "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," says Yahweh. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Just as plants grow when rained upon, so too will Almighty God's plans. His word has gone out and it will not return with nothing (Isaiah 55:11). His word has power to speak the universe into existence. His word will bring a restoration from exile, a redeemed creation and a renewed world (Isaiah 55:12-13). It will be a place of joy and excitement!
Come Quickly Everybody!
It is with a sense of urgency that Isaiah speaks these words of God. Decisions must be made but guest must come! The spiritual food of mercy and pardon is available to all, but the offer must be taken up! If the offer is rejected, then the consequences are disastrous for the person who does not believe. That is why the command to seek while God can be found, for there will come a time when the gates will be closed and no more admittance allowed.
Everlasting Covenant Features
What are the hallmarks of this Covenant? Two of the characteristics are justice and openness
Justice: Isaiah 5:7 tells us that God had looked for justice but found only injustice and suffering. Those who respond to this Everlasting Covenant will need to administer justice and live obedient lives. They are to do this, because God's righteousness is about be disclosed (Isaiah 56:1). They are to live an obedient life to God, not to earn salvation, but rather as a hallmark of having agreed the New Covenant with God, to symbolize that they are God's people.
Openness: This offer is open to all! Just as the nation of Israel was always meant to be a light of God to the nations, so too are the people of the New Covenant. They are to be a light to every nation of God's goodness and glory, extending an invitation to all to join in this life of the New Covenant. They were to accept all those who chose to accept the offer of being bound to God Almighty through this New Covenant (Isaiah 56:3, 6). An obvious example is that of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. This man was a eunuch from a foreign land, and according to Isaiah 56:4-7, he was to be welcomed by other acceptors of this New Covenant. All of this resulting from the Messiah Servant's work.
Jesus as this Messiah
Lets see again from his own life and words how Jesus is this Messiah Servant.
This Jesus welcomes the burdened: Matthew 11:28-30"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Are you burdened down with cares, stresses and strains? Come to Jesus today and let him take them..
Are you hungering and thirsting after righteousness? Then come to Jesus who offers Living Water and is the Bread of Life. John 7:37-38 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water." Or John 6:35 "Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."
Are you seeking God! Then seek! Ask! You will find! Matthew 7:8 "For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened."
This is Jesus who said in John 12:46 "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness"! What's more, He said that all those who follow Him are lights to the world as well Matthew 5:14 "You are the light of the world." That's why Jesus gave the command in Matthew 28:18-20 for His followers to go into all the world to tell about Him.
Fulfilling the Covenants
Frequently, this Jesus said that He was to fulfill what was written. One example of this is Luke 18:31-33 He took the twelve aside, and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all the things that are written through the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be completed. For he will be delivered up to the Gentiles, will be mocked, treated shamefully, and spit on. They will scourge and kill him. On the third day, he will rise again."
Primarily though is Jesus' Words in Luke 22 whereby Jesus instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion. Luke 22:19-20 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me." Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Christians do this regularly as a remembrance of Jesus until He comes again! The bread symbolizes His body broken on the cross and the wine symbolizes His blood shed on the cross. Further more it has other symbolic meanings, all of which symbolize the New Everlasting Covenant - a Covenant guaranteeing salvation! Amongst these meanings are that it
- Symbolizes fellowship with other believers in the worldwide church in openness and integrity
- Symbolizes our dependence on Christ for spiritual life and spiritual food.
- We receive the benefits of His sacrifice as the Suffering Servant.
It signifies in the New Covenant for Christians to tell all others of this offer to come and join. It is also for Christians to live an obedient life to God Almighty, to love justice and be welcoming to all!
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