On the Plains of Moab Blog
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February 10, 2012, 8:10 PM


For those of you who check out this blog, you're in for something different here!  As I just put the finishing touches on Sunday's sermon, I realized that I had too much material for Sunday!  And so, for the first time ever, I am placing the introductory section of the sermon right here on this blog.  Read this and you'll be a leg up for Sunday!

The Gospel According to Isaiah - The Meaning of Easter: The Down Payment (Part #4 of 10)  Isa. 44:23-45:8

Let’s review just a little bit.

In the beginning (of this series), we learned that in order to get to the good news of the Gospel, we must deal with some bad news about our situation.

The good news is this:  God is a gracious God to his people.  He chose Israel from all the people in the world.  He called them to a special mission that would in turn bring grace and peace to the rest of the world.  He called Israel to be his ambassadors to the world and to make his ways known.  He wanted Israel to be the mediators of a better way; in other words, to model holiness and by so doing would to show them the world the way of life.

The bad news is that they failed in this mission.  They rebelled against the call.  They went after other gods, copying the culture around them.  They became indistinguishable from the nations they were supposed to redeem.

However, the good news part two following close on the heels of the bad news is that God would still be true to his promise to bless the nations through his people.  Nothing can thwart these plans:  Neither the disobedience of his own people nor the unbelief of foreign nations can stop God from accomplishing his design for the world.

Several weeks ago, we saw the plan introduced in Isaiah 40.  Comfort, comfort my people, says your God….In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isa 40:1, 3 NIV).  Last week we saw the plan begin to unfold in the first servant song in Isaiah 42:  “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice [righteousness; my ways; my light] to the nations.” (42:1 NIV).

THIS my friends was a calling card for Jesus Christ.  We know this is true because Jesus claims them for himself and other New Testament writers come back to this section of Isaiah over and over as confirmation of Jesus as the embodiment and fulfillment of the Servant of the Lord prophecies.

Of course, you must remember as well that even in the glory of Jesus being the fulfillment of those prophecies, the end of the servant song from Isa. 42 calls for a holy patience in this news.  The servant himself, we are told, will not grow faint or discouraged or stop until he has accomplished his mission; nevertheless, we must still wait for it, maintaining a fervent, persistent hope for the consummation of all things.  Our calling until then is to be patient in faith, working out in our own local neighborhood/expression of the Kingdom where God has planted us.

You are now up to date, whether or not you have been here through three sermons!  Now we come to [Sunday]!

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