Summary: He Shall Swallow Up Death
Hello, and welcome to week four of these Easter prophecies about Jesus. So far we have covered the promise in Genesis 3, that the seed of Eve would crush Satan's head. The second week we identified that Jesus is the Passover Lamb, who takes away the sins of this world. Last week we saw that he was not just any lamb, but the one and only Son of God, whom he loves. We saw that God foreshadowed this sacrifice through Abraham and Isaac, through the mountain they were sent too, and through Isaac’s submission to his fathers will.
We are getting much closer to Easter, which is only in three weeks. Funny story, until this morning I thought Palm Sunday was next week. Larissa straightened me out. So I don’t know what we are talking about next week yet, but luckily there are way more prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus than we could ever cover in a series! Somewhere around 350 of them. So I’m not sure yet which we will talk about next week, but on Palm Sunday, we are going to focus on the prophecy about the Messiah riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, and then onto Isaiah 53 for Easter Sunday. But today, we are going to talk about death. “He shall swallow up death”, Isaiah 25 verse 8. Death is a reality for everyone. Ever since the original sin in the garden of eden, death has been a sure fate for humanity. Paul says in Romans that the wages of sin is death, the payment for our sin is dying. And while we have been forgiven of our sin, and given the gift of eternal life, physical death still awaits us. Before we can inherit eternal life, there is a physical death. Whether we die young, in the middle of our lives, or in our old age, we must die some day, because Creation has not yet been restored. The war is won, but the battle rages on. We know God has won, but we still live in a broken world filled with sin, and death is a part of that brokenness. So we know that while God has already won, there is still redemption yet to come.
And that is what we are going to talk about today. We are going to look at a prophecy that not only looks forward to Jesus and what his sacrifice would accomplish, it is also a prophecy that has not yet seen it’s full completion, it is only partially fulfilled, with the promise of more to come. This prophecy has eschatological implications, it is referenced throughout Revelation. So there is a unique factor to this week. So far, all of the prophecies we have looked at have been fulfilled. But this week, we get to experience some of that excitement of blessing and freedom that is still yet to come. And while we don’t yet have the entire completion and fulfilment of this prophecy, the action that has made it possible has already been taken through Jesus’ resurrection. Today we will see that every Christian can find hope and peace for the coming age, because death has been defeated by Jesus.
If you have your Bible with you today, our prophecy this week is found in Isaiah 25, and I am going to read verses 1-8: “LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. You have made the city a heap of rubble, the fortified town a ruin, the foreigners’ stronghold a city no more; it will never be rebuilt. Therefore strong peoples will honor you; cities of ruthless nations will revere you. You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall and like the heat of the desert. You silence the uproar of foreigners; as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled. On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine— the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.”
So let's begin by looking at some context. This passage is actually a part of a prophetic song written by the prophet Isaiah, between 740-680 BC. Isaiah was called by God to prophecy to the Israelites who lived in the kingdom of Judah, because at this point in time Israel was split into two kingdoms, the Kingdom of Israel in the north, and the Kingdom of Judah in the south. Isaiah's prophecies were specifically focused around the imminent judgement coming due to their sin, but also were focused on the eventual restoration of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. And we know from history that this is the people who God saved, and brought back from exile. Something that is not well known is that God did not bring ALL of the Israelites back, in fact, most did not return. The northern kingdom was so corrupt and sinful that they essentially were assimilated by the Assyrians after they were taken into captivity. If you have ever