Tuesday, April 12, 2022

            Across his sixty-six chapters, Isaiah had much to say about the condition of the world and God’s plans to bring renewal and salvation.  God’s plans would certainly include the redemption of Israel but they would also be further reaching and longer lasting than just restoring one small nation in the Middle East.  God’s vision was global in scope and eternal in nature. In Isaiah 49, the prophet wrote about the coming of Jesus who would be the servant of the LORD.  Jesus came to the lost and wandering people of Israel but He also came for the world.  We read a bit about Jesus’ mission in Isaiah 49:6, “I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”  Jesus came not just for Jews but Gentiles too.  As we make our way through day two of Holy Week, there are three truths we need to see in Isaiah 49:6. 
            First, Jesus came to be our light.  Apart from the Lord, we live and dwell in darkness.  We live in the darkness of sin and ruin.  We have chosen our ways above God’s ways and we live with the results of that lamentable choice.  Jesus came to reveal the ways of God and the truth of God.  Our minds and hearts have been darkened by sin leaving us incapable of finding the Lord by ourselves.  So, the Son of God comes to us to open blind eyes and to show us the light of God that leads to life itself.  Psalm 119 says that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path.  Jesus revealed the Father to us and made His love and grace known.
            Second, Jesus came to bring salvation.  And He came to empower us to carry this good news to the ends of the earth.  This week raises awareness for how much this salvation message is needed across the world.  Apart from the salvation Jesus brings, we are helpless and hopeless.  We possess no goodness.  We have no ability to forgive ourselves.  A quick look at the balance sheet of our lives reveals that we are saddled with far more debts than assets.  We have no way to bargain or barter our way out of the sinful predicament in which we find ourselves.
            The third truth is that God has not turned His back on us.  He has not written us off and pushed us to the trash heap of history.  We are loved—loved in spite of our sins.  We are loved though we are unlovable and often fail to offer any love back to God.  Yet, we remain not forgotten.  Not only did God remember us; He came for us.  When we could neither climb nor claw our way to Him, He came to us.  Jesus demonstrated His great love by being lifted up on a cross for us.  Jesus said in John 12:32, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.”  Through love, God allowed His son to be lifted up.  And in that lifting up of the Son, God made His love known to all.
            As we approach Good Friday, it would almost seem like everything is getting darker and darker.  And while the judgment of God on sin and His Son cast a pall of darkness over the earth, we know that His light overcomes the darkness.  We look forward to the light of Easter that reminds us not only are we forever loved but through the resurrection we are forever alive as well.  Isaiah called Jesus the “Servant of the LORD.”  It was Jesus Himself who claimed this title and told us that He came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.  As the LORD’s Servant, Jesus has settled all debts, lived the perfect life we could not and would not ever live and made a lasting peace between the Father and us.  We give thanks today for what was done on our behalf.  And as we walk through Holy Week, we resolve to give ourselves in surrender and faith to the One who was lifted high for us.  Have a good Tuesday!  Remember you can share our worship anytime at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.    

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