He is Risen!
We were all struck by the spectacle of the fire that destroyed the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
As I was watching the coverage, somthing struck me, I began thinking about why this burning building caused so much grief and angst. One of the reasons was that we as God’s created beings, desire transcendence, we have a desire for something that endures beyond our lives. We desperately want to know that eternity is real and achievable. The thought that everything around us that we see will one day fall to decay is simply too hard for us to face (see Ecclesiastes 3:11).
We were made for so much more than the accumulation of wealth, knowledge and the pursuit of comfort and happiness, we were made for eternal glory with Jesus.
On Easter Sunday, we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and that he paid the price for our eternal salvation. Isaiah 53 is one of the clearest Old Testament prophetic Scriptures that points to the death and resurrection of Jesus. These words also remind us that Jesus was not a victim of a terribly botched trial, or mistaken identity. Jesus was the creator God, who took on flesh, was born and lived at a specific time in history to die on a Roman cross and then to be raised to life. Only Jesus could do what He did, only Jesus who was fully God and fully man, was the one who could pay the price for the sins of man.
In Isaiah 53:10-12 we see five key attributes of Jesus, starting at verse 10a, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt,”
Jesus is – the Perfect Sacrifice.
Under the Law of Moses, there were multiple different offerings, the prophet Isaiah wrote that Jesus was a guilt offering. The guilt offering was to provide a way to be cleansed from unintentional sin, or a way to provide restitution when someone has been personally wronged because of a sinner’s actions. Jesus knows what sins we have committed in the past, but the guilt offering was for unintentional or yet unknown sin. On the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins and for the sins we are yet to commit even our unintentional sins. Does this mean I sin without consequence? Absolutely not, it was our sin that drove Jesus to the cross, past present and future. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice, the only pure spotless lamb of God (see Hebrews 10:11-14).
Jesus is – the Risen Lord.
Jesus is alive! Isaiah 53:10b-11a says, “he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;”
Only living people see their offspring, only living people have extended days and prosper.
This is the line in the sand that differentiates Christianity from any other world religion. Our God is alive, the tomb where he was buried was only occupied for a few days. Paul clearly stated this in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, this is the Good News, he is risen!
Not only that, Jesus was raised with a body that will never decay, the same kind that we will also get one day if we believe in Jesus as Lord. The resurrection of Jesus is our glorious hope of a certain eternal future.
Jesus is – our Righteousness.
Isaiah 53:11b, “by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.”
The word righteous means that there is no longer a need for justice or punishment. For the Christian, to be righteous means to be in right standing before God. This is the privilege that we have as those covered by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. We cannot stand before the all-holy God without the righteousness of Christ.
Without the righteousness of Christ, we have no hope of any sin being forgiven, but because of what he had done, no sin is too great for his forgiveness.
In Isaiah 64, we read that those who trust in their own righteousness or good works, are described as filthy rags in God’s sight. There is no good work that we could do that would make us righteous. Nothing we can do will make us righteous before God, only through Jesus can we stand righteous before the all-holy God
In Jeremiah 23:6 we read that Jesus is Jehovah Tsidkenu, meaning Jehovah is our righteousness.
Our being in right standing with God is only because of us placing our faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Righteousness comes through faith.
Jesus is our Inheritance
Isaiah 53:12a, “Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,”
The Bible is full of references to the inheritance believers have in Christ (see Ephesians 1:11).
Our inheritance is the sum of all God has promised us in salvation. Our inheritance is not dependent on our works, our inheritance is based on our family, being part of the family of God, being a Christian makes us heirs along with Christ (See Romans 8:16-17).
When we understand and value the glory that awaits us, we are better able to endure whatever comes our way in this life. With an eternal perspective, we realize that this life is gone in a flash and eternity awaits us all. We can praise God during trials because we have His guarantee that we will receive all He has promised (see 2 Corinthians 4:17).
Jesus is our Advocate.
Isaiah 53:12 closes, “because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many and makes intercession for the transgressors.”
An advocate is someone who pleads the cause of another before a court or tribunal, Jesus is our advocate (see 1 John 2:1).
Jesus, the creator of the universe, gave his life for you, and now he is seated next to God the father and he is pleading and advocating for us (see Hebrews 7:23-25).
In addition to this, Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Do you know Jesus?