The prophet Isaiah not only foretold the sacrifice of Messiah on the cross, but also records that the He will rise from the dead to see the fruits of His saving act.
10 …When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:10b-12 NKJV
An innocent Lamb, Jesus Christ died a criminal’s death, beaten and crucified as a sin offering for the world. He laid down His life of His own accord, and the Father raised Him from the dead on the third day. Like birth pangs, His painful suffering was behind Him now, and He could focus on the joy and delight of an eternal fellowship with His seed, the great crowd of now-cleansed believers who make up the global Church.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was an event without parallel in human history, having generated so much hope for so many. The sting and scourge of death had finally been overcome, first with Christ, then followed by all who have come to believe in Him in their hearts. Women and men around the world can rejoice at their new and eternal re-birth, sealed for redemption as the Holy Spirit resides in their hearts, the new temple of God.
Before His suffering and death, Jesus comforted His disciples by telling them that He was going to prepare a place for them in the Father’s house. This was the prize for them to keep their eye on, the imperishable crown of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. He promised to return one day to receive them so that wherever He was, they may be there, as well.
The same offer is extended to us today. It does not matter where we have been or what we have done. Jesus already carried the punishment for all that on the cross. The bigger question is, where are we going, and Who will we rely on to get there? Will we believe Him, claim His promises, and humbly reach out to Him for forgiveness? Are we willing to follow Him, and to forgive others as He forgives us? This is a very difficult thing to do and requires a lot of help from God, but if we are willing, He will help us to make great strides and to enjoy the harvest of a joyful life.
This trilogy of meditations from Isaiah 53 is the core of God’s redemptive plan for us in the Old Testament. It tells of His great love and sacrifice, and the great gift of hope for the future.
The genealogy of Jesus Christ focuses on His coming kingship, but Isaiah encourages us not to miss His suffering. He has done all of this for us to satisfy the holy requirements of kingdom citizenship, requirements that we could never otherwise satisfy.
Lord, thank you for all the blessings of this day. We enjoy these good gifts as a generous bounty from Your hand, made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Help carry our burdens for us as we seek to follow You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.