Summary: Third in the Advent series bulding anticipating for Messiah’s Coming by examining the prophecies related to His saving work; His Passion.
3rd Sunday of Advent
“The PASSION of Messiah”
How will help us?
Christmas commemorates the first advent; the first coming of Jesus Christ. Advent means arrival, start, coming, beginning, dawn. This year we have revisited the Christmas story by focusing on the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah available to Jews and Gentiles hundreds of years before His coming. The prophecies revealed his person, practice, passion, purpose as well as the period and place of His birth.
THE PERSON OF MESSIAH – Who will He be?
THE PRACTICE OF MESSIAH – What Will He do?
1.Speak for God as His anointed Prophet, teacher, preacher
2.Intercede as God’s High Priest as well as God’s sacrificial Lamb
3.Rule as King of kings and Lord of lords and Prince of Peace
4.Shepherd as Chief Shepherd
5.Heal the spiritually and physically sick
6.Deliver from sin and Satan
7.Redeem / Savior
THE PASSION OF MESSIAH – How will He help us?
The word “passion” is usually used in reference to the suffering of Christ. The week of Easter is generally called “Passion Week”. The Jews were focused on the political reestablishment of the Kingdom of Israel. God was working on His Kingdom that would include all nations. He promised Abraham that through his “seed” (singular) ALL nations would be blessed. In order for God to bring about His kingdom of righteousness and not just another corruptible earthly kingdom run by fallen creatures, it would be necessary to change people’s heart. He must decisively deal with the sin dilemma.
The Jews generally missed the suffering aspect of Messiah’s mission. They were so focused on the Reigning King and the reestablishment of the Kingdom glory that they missed the many passages related to the suffering of Messiah. The one unmistakable prophecy, they in later years reinterpret to refer to Jeremiah, Josiah or the nation Israel itself not their coming Messiah. The passage itself soundly argues against such an interpretation. There are two major prophetic passages and a host of other passages spelling out remarkable details concerning the suffering and death of Christ.
This passage is quoted in the New Testament more frequently than any other passage. (41)
In only twelve short verses we find extraordinarily detailed prophecy related to the life, suffering, burial, death, resurrection and exaltation of Messiah. Isaiah reports from a post crucifixion perspective. He details the suffering of Messiah as a reporter reporting an event that had already taken place.
1.He came in obscurity
Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
Isaiah indicates that the general public would not believe this aspect of God’s plan. Who would believe that God would bring about salvation through such a person? The refusal of the people to hear was indicated from the beginning of Isaiah’s call in chapter 6. God called him to proclaim the message of salvation but indicated the people would not listen. Here, they refuse to believe that God would send salvation through such a “pathetic” deliverer.
“Bare the Arm” is a figure of power and strength. It pictures someone rolling up their sleeves to reveal a strong and muscle bound arm ready for action. Who would believe that the arm that would bring salvation was actually an unremarkable scrawny arm?
He created the world with His fingers (Psalm 8:3)
He delivered Israel from Egypt with His strong hand Ex 13:3)
It would take the baring of His mighty arm bring about salvation for all of mankind.
However, His bared arm would not be recognized as a show of strength. Messiah would start out in a vulnerable state (tender shoot). He would grow up in a difficult circumstance and time of history (parched ground). Instead of a mighty oak we find a vulnerable little shoot appearing in dry ground. This is an image of humiliation and weakness and vulnerability in a hostile environment. This tree of deliverance would sprout up in a most unexpected place (descendent of a failed and defunct Davidic dynasty from an obscure despised town in one of the smallest nations on earth).
Jesus appeared at the right time although at a time of extreme spiritual dryness. Although hidden from the general public, this “Tender Shoot” would grow up under the watchful eye of the Father. He would not bear any outstanding feature to distinguish Him from the crowd. His physical appearance would basically be unremarkable. His would not grow up as one of the elite or “beautiful people”. He would not have “star power”. This Savior of mankind and redeemer of Israel would not even be born to remarkable parents or in a remarkable place.