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Summary: Jesus in Isaiah, part 3. This message examines Isaiah 42:1-4, taking each verse one at a time and presenting snapshots of Christ in the gospels that correspond, to shed light on how Christ brings deliverance.

Snapshots of a Deliverer

Jesus in Isaiah, part 3

December 24, 2006

David Flowers

Last week I spoke to you about Jesus the Freedom-Bringer. Obviously the thrust of that message was that Jesus came to bring freedom. At that time I invited you back to hear this week’s message, which I said would look at how Christ brings freedom to us. I am excited about what I have to say to you today, as I’m pretty sure it will be different from many things you have heard about Jesus in the past, especially if this is only your first or second Sunday here. I think there’s a chance that you could walk out of this gym today with a completely new view of Christ, of Christianity, and of how Jesus works in our lives and in our world, that maybe you could see these things with greater clarity than you ever imagined.

So we continue on with our series called Jesus in Isaiah, looking at prophecies written about the Messiah, or the Christ, over 700 years before the birth of Jesus, this one from Isaiah chapter 42 and dealing with how Jesus will deliver the world – and you and me – from conflict, from sin, and from itself.

This is the prophet Isaiah here, writing in the voice of God, which is common in prophetic writing. He writes:

Isaiah 42:1-4 (MSG)

1 "Take a good look at my servant. I’m backing him to the hilt. He’s the one I chose, and I couldn’t be more pleased with him. I’ve bathed him with my Spirit, my life. He’ll set everything right among the nations.

2 He won’t call attention to what he does with loud speeches or gaudy parades.

3 He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant, but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right.

4 He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped until he’s finished his work—to set things right on earth. Far-flung ocean islands wait expectantly for his teaching."

What I’m going to do this morning is take these four verses one at a time. I’ll read the verse to you, then I want to present you with at least one New Testament snapshot of each – a picture from the life of Jesus showing you how he put these ancient prophecies into action. As I do this, I believe you will come to understand Jesus in a new way – to see his activity in a different light. My hope is that by the end of this message you feel you have been freed to listen to what Christ might be saying to you today, and this season, and this year, and find yourself more capable of hearing than ever before. Wouldn’t it be great if this morning I could help you hear God in a new way? That is my prayer.

I want to begin at the beginning this morning, with verse 1 of chapter 42. Isaiah records God saying:

Isaiah 42:1 (MSG)

1 "Take a good look at my servant. I’m backing him to the hilt. He’s the one I chose, and I couldn’t be more pleased with him. I’ve bathed him with my Spirit, my life. He’ll set everything right among the nations.

Fast forward 700 years. In Matthew chapter 3, Jesus is just starting his public ministry, and the first thing he does is get himself baptized. We pick up here where Jesus has just been dunked under the water.

Matthew 3:16-17 (MSG)

16 The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him.

17 And along with the Spirit, a voice: "This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life."

Of course Christians believe that the servant Isaiah was speaking about was Jesus. Jesus Christ was the one chosen by God not just at his birth but hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, before, and he was chosen by God to bring deliverance to you, to me, to the world. Isaiah says, “He’ll set everything right among the nations.”

Friends, has there ever been a time when the nations of the earth have needed that more than we need it now? Christians here this morning, are we praying for this? Are we praying regularly that Christ would bring peace to this world? I don’t know what 2007 holds for our world – I don’t even know what New Year’s Eve holds. But since Christ came to earth to set everything right among the nations, and since that clearly has not happened yet, are we praying for it?

Let me tell you something. It is your choice whether to be a doomsayer or a peace-prayer. For every person out there saying, “This could be the end of the world as we know it,” there are others on their knees, praying for God’s peace. For every person saying, “Perhaps we are witnessing the end of history,” there are others praying that God will show himself in ways we’ve never seen, and that history will be reborn into a better time, that we will truly see God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus taught us to pray for that, right? Why would he teach us to pray for something that was not in God’s will and that was never going to happen?

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