Summary: Jesus in Isaiah (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.