Summary: Jesus in Isaiah (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Isaiah chapter 61 verses 1-11
This chapter starts off with two starkly contrasting truths:
• Both truths are found in verse 2:
• (1st). “The year of the LORD's favour”. (2nd). “The day of vengeance of our God”
Both come out of the previous chapter which ends on the thought that:
• Life, our circumstances, our situations, peoples sinfulness will not just carry on forever.
• One day God will bring them to a sudden end.
• But for now we have an intervening period (e.g. our expression ‘Day of grace’);
• However long or short, is this time of opportunity, we are not told.
• But we are told it is not to be taken lightly,
• For terrible judgment awaits those who ignore it or carelessly let it pass by.
We are going to concentrate this morning, on the time of Gods favour,
• And above all on the person (the Messiah) who ushers it in.
• It begins with him in verses 1-6.
• No-one introduces him;
• He simply speaks for himself,
• Demanding our attention;
• Quite unselfconsciously and without arrogance, but with tremendous authority.
In fact 3 times we are told the source of his authority in verse 1:
• “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me”
• “The LORD has anointed me”.
• “He has sent me”.
• You can’t help but notice this person is sent from God!
• He lays his credentials down for everybody to see.
• This person mentioned is someone of quite extraordinary importance.
We have met him before, of course.
• Cast your mind back to chapter 42 (first servant song of the Messiah):
• Where God spoke and said concerning his servant: “I will put my Spirit on him”.
• And also in chapter 11 verse 1-2 referring to the Messiah who will come:
• “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse…the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him”.
• A children’s catechism class was learning the Apostles Creed.
• Each child had been assigned a sentence to repeat.
• The first one said, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”
• The second child said, “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son…”
• When he had completed his sentence, there was an embarrassing silence.
• Finally, one child piped up, “Teacher, the boy who believes in the Holy Spirit isn’t here.”
In stark contrast to that boy:
• Isaiah informs us again and again and again;
• That the Messiah will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit & full of authority!
Gods Messiah as Isaiah saw him:
• Is both the Servant of chapters 40-55;
• And the Messiah of chapters 1–35.
• Here is the great theological breakthrough of Isaiah's vision and the heart of his gospel.
• The Messiah must suffer and rise again.
• Only then (after this suffering and resurrection;
• Can the year of the LORD'S favour be ushered in.
In this chapter we have a speech by the Servant-Messiah:
• As we look at these verses a reminder that they have a two-fold fulfilment;
• An immediate and a future fulfilment;
• The immediate fulfilment would be the Jews release from the Babylonian exile;
• Their future fulfilment would be in the Messiah – Jesus Christ.
5 Things to note:
(1). Enlightenment (verse 1):
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor”.
“The Spirit of the LORD God has taken control of me!
The LORD has chosen and sent me to tell the oppressed the good news”,
• In the immediate fulfilment of these verses;
• The poor refers to the Jews in exile;
• But in their future fulfilment;
• They apply to all people of every race and creed.
• Luke chapter 14:
• Jesus talking to a prominent Pharisees said in verse 12:
“When you give a dinner or a banquet, don't invite your friends and family and relatives and rich neighbours. If you do, they will invite you in return, and you will be paid back. 13When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind”.
• Then in the same conversation with the Pharisee,
• Jesus told the parable of the Great banquet.
• Where the invited guests (Jews) refused the invitation to party;
• So the master sent out for the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind (Gentiles).
• Somebody described evangelism as;
• “One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread”
Isaiah reminds his hearers that the Messiah is coming with ‘good news’,
• He is coming with the ‘gospel’,
• He is coming to tell hungry beggars that he is ‘the bread of life’.