Summary: 1st in a series of Christmas/Advent sermons - looking at the advent story through the eyes of the prophets.
Through The Eyes of Christmas Pt 1
The Eyes of a Prophet
We come again to our celebration of Advent. Advent literally means coming. We celebrate this season celebrating the coming of Christ to us. The coming of a Savior to a desperately lost world. As we light the candles of the Advent wreath ¡V Again this year I want to share with you from scripture the stories that the candles represent. Each Sunday this year I want you to look with me through the eyes of Christmas. Look with me today at Christmas through the eyes of Isaiah the prophet.
Read Isaiah 53:1-12
Prophets foretold the coming of Messiah. - Their writings make up the greatest portion of the OT - 39 books Written over a span of over a thousand years by as many as 30 different writers. The Old Testament all points to one unique happening in the world - the coming of Messiah- From Genesis to Malachi. - Over 300 prophecies containing 456 specific events were made concerning the coming Messiah - all were written before 400 BC -
Look with me this morning through the eyes of a prophet who foretold the coming of Jesus Christ. The Prophets eyes¡K
1) See with Hope ¡V the coming of the promised Messiah. Remember that the world of the prophets is a very different world from ours. Not so different in the manner of living or in the attitudes and behavior of people but different in the matter of hope. To understand this we have to go back to the beginning. And it starts with Adam and Eve. God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden so that His creation could be in intimate relation with Him. During that time in the garden God walked in intimate fellowship with His creation until the day that sin entered the world. From the moment of Adam¡¦s sin death and separation ruled among men. This is the world of the Prophets. A world ruled by law and sacrifice. The word Altar actually means slaughter place. For thousands of years countless numbers of calves, lambs, goats, oxen, and birds were slaughtered in an attempt to cover sin. Sin brought man into a world of death, destruction, blood and slaughter. Yet into the midst of this world of death shines a bright new hope. The prophets point to a day when the last drop of blood will be shed ¡V when the perfect sacrifice will be offered, when the salvation of mankind will be completed in this Messiah who will come. A hope into the midst of death itself. A hope given through the prophets and manifested in a great reality.
2) See with Saddness ¡V the rejection of Messiah and what will happen when He comes. V2-3 The Messiah would be a Man oppressed and afflicted. Messiah would build no earthly empire, free no captive nation, lead no successful rebellion, He would be poor and humble, and in the end all of his talk of a Kingdom would lead him to Death; Crucifixion ¡V the worst humiliation yet. His generation would see Him slaughtered and consider Him a life wasted. He would be no great man of valor and majesty ¡V instead offering a tribute of defiance in the face of death He would be silent and meek and allow Himself to be destroyed. There is a passion in the words of Isaiah that shows what will happen to Jesus when He comes. God will invade the earth and be rejected by the His own creation whom He came to save. A sad story but one that will be fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.
3) Sees with Clarity ¡V what is offered. Notice that Isaiah says He will be Pierced (wounded), He will be crushed (bruised ¡V DAKA - understand the reality of the hebrew word here ¡V there is no stronger word for suffering than the hebrew word used here), He will be Chastened (punished), He will be scourged. Isaiah says all these things will happen but understand that he tells us why they will happen. He is pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquity, chastened for our well being, and scourged for our healing. You see Isaiah sees with clarity the vicarious suffering of the Messiah. This is finally the perfect, flawless, sinless sacrifice made by God for Man. God in human flesh crucified so that His own creation can live. Isaiah sees with clarity the passion that God has for His creation that would lead Him to such pain and suffering for ones who have rejected Him.
4) Sees with Vision ¡V the ultimate triumph. V10 ¡V 12 Messiah comes born to die ¡V that we might live. Rejected, despised, crucified ¡V but risen to new life. Victorious over the grave Messiah would raise his creation to new life. At the moment of Satan¡¦s greatest victory would come his absolute defeat ¡V and life eternal would be opened through the grace of God to all who would believe. Isaiah sees the hardship ¡V the death ¡V but the victory as well.