Wednesday, March 8, 2023

           The prophet Isaiah had much to say about both the first and second coming of Christ.  In chapter forty-two, he depicted Christ as “the Servant of the LORD.”  He said that the Father “delighted” in His Servant (Isaiah 42:1).  The prophet spelled out some of the work that was expected of the LORD’s Servant (or Christ) when He came into the world.  We read, “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.  I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.  ‘I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols’” (Isaiah 42:6-8).  A few lessons stand out for us to see in this prophecy.
            First, Christ is our righteousness.  He lived the perfect life that God expects of everyone.  We have not lived perfect lives but Christ did.  Through faith, His righteousness is credited to us.  We are given the life He lived in exchange for our sins that He carried to the cross.  As we make our way through the Lenten season, it is important to remember that Christ lived the life we could not live but also died the death that we should have died.  He gave up His righteousness to us only to take our sinfulness in exchange.  The righteousness that we receive from Him becomes safely and securely credited to us.  It is more secure than your bank account. 
            Second, Christ promises to hold and keep His people.  He does not lose anyone.  Consider His words in John 10:28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”  In His first coming, Christ has saved and secured us so that we will be ready to join Him in His second coming or His return to gather His people to be with Him.  We can be confident that He will not lose us.  We may struggle to keep track of possessions and personal items but the Lord does not lose sight of us.  His watchful eye is ever-aware of where we are. 
            Third, the Lord opens blind eyes and frees captives from prisons.  In short, He changes our lives and circumstances.  We can now see the truth of God and understand the gospel message.  We can be freed from sinful ways, dangerous habits and destructive lifestyles.  He has come to open the prison cells that once held us captive.  We begin to recognize how awful sin and disobedience are and just how far such things have pushed us away from the Father.  Jesus declared that He is the light of the world.  It is the light that He brings to us that allows us to see clearly and to see the truth He brings to us.
            Isaiah wrote, “I am the LORD; that is my name!” (Isaiah 42:8a).  Whenever LORD is all capitalized in Scripture, we must remember that it is the Name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush.  LORD is the great I AM God.  LORD means the One who causes all things to be.  When Jesus used the expression “I am” seven different times in John’s gospel (such as light of the world, good shepherd, etc.), He was taking the divine Name upon Himself.  Jesus clearly identified with the great I AM Name for God or LORD. Jesus can save us because He is the LORD and He is mighty to save.  And when He comes again for His people, He will come in rapturous glory and conquest.
            Our response to all that the LORD has done is to sing a new song unto Him (Isaiah
42:10).  Sing “His praise from the ends of the earth.”  In this Lenten season, we look back at the cross in remembrance.  But we also look forward to the Lord’s coming once again.  He has not finished His work with this earth or history.  To know Christ, to walk with Christ and to live for Christ secures our place with Him.  May we submit and surrender to Him each day so we can join Him in His coming.  Have a great Wednesday!  Our worship can be seen and shared at any time at    

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