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Sermon Date

February 3, 2019

Bible Passage

John 1:1-14; Isaiah 11

Author

We are entering the last major section of the book of Isaiah. The upcoming section is filled with beautiful songs about the Messiah of Israel. But, before we venture into this last section, it seems right and proper to look back over the previous 48 chapters and pull out all the words Isaiah pens about Jesus.

In doing this, we will see a beautiful and glorious picture of the Lord Jesus Christ portrayed by Isaiah, who writes this book through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

After we review these passages, you will see why Isaiah is often referred to as the fifth gospel. Isaiah gives us a revelation of the Messiah which is a complete picture of Jesus in the Old Testament. It may even be argued that Isaiah’s revelation of Jesus is in ways more complete than any book because he writes of the coming kingdom.

Main Idea: Glorify God by faithfully worshipping the Messiah

 Last week, we talked about four ways we may glorify God with our lives. We are to glorify God by faith, love, obedience, and with our gospel witness.

 This week, we aim to focus on how we may glorify God by worshipping the Messiah. As we go through the revelations of the Messiah, the goal is that we:

  • believe in Christ,
  • know Him fully,
  • worship (which is to love),
  • and allow the knowledge and love of the Messiah to shape and impact our lives.

1)      The Messiah is exalted on His throne

God gives Isaiah a vision of the Messiah that strikes fear into his heart. Isaiah sees the Lord, sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. In his vision, Isaiah sees giant angelic beings called Seraphim, standing above the Messiah. The Seraphim call out to one another saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:1-3)

In Isaiah’s vision, the heavens tremble when the Seraphim speak. Isaiah becomes undone. He cries out, “woe is me.” He is devastated because he sees with his eyes the holiness of the Messiah in light of the wretchedness of his sinful condition.

It is this revelation that ought to be the revelation seen by all human flesh. All people need to see the holiness of their Savior and the evil condition of their hearts. If you are here today, and you have not received Christ as your Savior, this is the most important vision of Him you may come to know. Isaiah sees Christ and cries out for salvation. All people need to see Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

Unless we can see how we fall short of the glory of Christ, they do not see the need for salvation.  

2)      The Messiah is beautiful and glorious

Our second revelation is a contrast to the flaming fire of the holiness of Christ. Isaiah tells us that the Messiah is beautiful and glorious (Isaiah 4:2). Yes, we are to fear the Messiah Isaiah sees in chapter six, but we are also to find the beauty of the Messiah as a beautiful sight. He is a Messiah of abundance bringing fruit and adornments.

His beauty is not like a flower or a graceful animal. The beauty of the Messiah is His perfection. He is righteous and holy, full of truth, and abounding in love. Sin occludes our vision in this world. We only see what is on the outside. True beauty comes from within. Jesus is holy and pure. We’ve never seen such perfection. When we see Him face to face, we will realize all those things we have called beautiful pale in comparison to the beauty of Christ’s holiness, love, compassion, and righteousness. Flowers fade, but the beauty of Christ endures forever.

3)      The Messiah is a descendent of David

The Messiah who sits on the throne in heaven will sit on the throne of David. Isaiah confirms what God tells David, and that is that the Messiah is descendent who will sit on David’s throne. Isaiah says, “a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1).

Jesse is David’s father, and the Messiah is descendent of David.

Joseph is not the father of the Messiah.  The Messiah is a descendant of David because of Mary, the virgin mother. Luke’s genealogy teaches us that Mary is of the lineage of David. God keeps His promise to David and fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 11:1.

4)      The Messiah is of Holy Descent

The fourth revelation of the Messiah is that He is of holy descent. This is a critical truth of the gospel. The Messiah is without sin. Jesus is sinless. He is not born with the sin nature of Adam.

Jesus is born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), and God miraculously is the Father. Jesus is the holy offspring of the Holy Spirit of God (Luke 1:35).

God fulfills His promise to Eve that the Messiah is born of a woman, but He is not born of Adam.

Joseph is not the father of Jesus. He may not be. The genealogy of Matthew 1:12 tells us that Joseph is descendant of Jeconiah. God tells the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 22:24; 30) that no descendant of Jeconiah will ever sit on the throne of David. [1]

Matthew’s genealogy is given to us to prove that Joseph cannot be the father of the Messiah.

The Bible names the Messiah, the Second Adam. He is like the first Adam in that He is the offspring of God. Jesus is a descendant of David, 100% man, and Jesus is a God in the flesh, 100% God. He is not half God and half man, but 100% God and 100% man. It is a mystery.

5)      The Messiah is upheld by God’s Spirit

The Messiah is upheld by the all-powerful, all-knowing God of the universe. God delights in the Messiah because the Messiah accomplishes what God desires.

The Messiah cannot fail!

God sees the world is filled with injustice, so He sends the Messiah to help those who are unfairly and unjustly treated. He is chosen by God to bring justice to in every nation.

Isaiah tells us that the Messiah’s ways are gentle. He will not break a bruised reed or extinguish a dimly burning wick. But, don’t mistake the Messiah’s gentle ways as a sign of weakness. The Messiah cannot be defeated. He will not be crushed. The Messiah is upheld by God’s Spirit and He will establish a government which lifts up all who are downcast. People all over the world wait expectantly for the Servant of the most-high God to rule and reign.

The Messiah is the desire of the nations! And, because He is upheld by an all-powerful God, we can have great confidence He will help us in our time of need. (Isaiah 42:1-4)

6)      The Messiah is the Cornerstone

The Lord God says that the Messiah is established as a costly Cornerstone (Isaiah 28:16). He is costly because He is God in the flesh. There is no cornerstone more valuable than the Messiah.

The world is in disarray. Everyone has an opinion of how things should be and expects everyone to get in line. The blind are leading the blind. The crooked may not set the world straight.

The world needs a perfect Cornerstone. The Messiah is the Cornerstone God is using to align all the stones of His kingdom. God is taking people, both Jew and Gentile, and building a holy temple. God’s children are living stones placed in alignment with the chief Cornerstone, the foundation of God’s kingdom.

God’s kingdom may not be moved. The Cornerstone is secure and perfectly placed. Those in alignment with the Cornerstone will not be disturbed. The floods and storms of life may come. But the living stones in alignment with the Cornerstone are not shaken. They stand no matter the severity of the earthquake or the flood of life. The Bible tells us to stand firm in Christ. Do not be moved from God’s foundation. Trust God and be in alignment with His Cornerstone.

7)      The Messiah is a Covenant

The Messiah is a Covenant (Isaiah 42:16). He is the agreement between God and people.

God makes many covenants with mankind, but they pale in comparison the covenant of the Messiah.

God makes a covenant with Abraham saying that his seed will be a blessing to all the Nations. The Messiah is the fulfillment of that Covenant.

God makes a Covenant with David that the Messiah will rule with perfect righteousness on His throne. The Messiah is the fulfillment of that Covenant.

God makes a glorious covenant with the Nation of Israel. That covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, is made using Stone Tablets. The Messiah is the “telos,” the aim of the Mosaic Covenant. The Messiah comes to fulfill the Covenant of the Law of Moses. That Old Covenant of stone tablets is replaced with a New Covenant made with flesh and blood.

The Messiah is the Covenant which all the other covenants point. The Covenant of the Messiah is an everlasting one which God finds great delight and joy. There are no more Covenants. God will not one day look at His beloved Son and say, “it’s time for a new covenant.” Never!

The Covenant of the Messiah encompasses the completeness of glory of God.

All who agree and put their faith in the Covenant, are in a perfect relationship with God. It is a binding agreement upon which God’s nature is at stake. It is based on God’s word, and He is not a liar.

8)      The Messiah brings light and gladness to the darkness

God sends His Covenant, and He walks upon the earth. His ministry begins the land of Naphtali on the other side of Jordan, also known as Galilee of the Gentiles (Isaiah 9:1).

Before the arrival of the Messiah, the people who live in that region walk in darkness. They have no truth. They are surrounded by the gloom and darkness of evil. Living in darkness and gloom is the greatest tragedy of people. The reason for the darkness is that they are full of sin and evil. It is a greater tragedy than any war or natural catastrophe.

The Messiah steps foot into that land and His holiness, righteousness, and words of truth are as a great light shining on the inhabitants. The people see the glory of God walking in their midst, and the darkness falls away. They are filled with great gladness and abundance (Isaiah 9:2).

The Messiah of Israel is not just for Israel, but He comes to minister first in the land where there Israelites and many gentiles. He brings light and gladness to all people.

9)      The Messiah breaks the yoke of the oppressor

The reason people are in darkness is because they are oppressed and are forced to carry great burdens of evil. People are living in blindness in dungeons and prisons with no key, no light, and way of escape. There is no hope. There is nobody able to rescue them. (Isaiah 9:4-5; 42:7)

People are prisoners of their sin. They are slaves to sin. There is nothing they may do. The leopard may not change its spots and the people in the dungeons may not escape their sin.

In the dungeon of sin, evil abounds. Plagues, cancer, bacteria, and brokenness brings ugly sickness to every inhabitant. Fighting and anger occur daily. Every song is a dirge. Lamenting, gloom, and sorrow fill the musty, foul air. The only escape, which is no escape, is to eventually die and have the body be eaten by worms and decay.

The Messiah arrives. He is a Savior and a Champion (Isaiah 19:20). He breaks the yoke and removes the burden. Satan and his demons scatter in fear. He flings open the dungeons, and He leads people to freedom.

Imagine being in the darkest dungeon with no way of escape and you hear a clamor in the hallway. You see a torch approaching. Suddenly the doors of the prison open and the chains fall off, and a great and powerful Savior leads you to safety. The mighty Champion of our soul transfers us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. He places an impenetrable wall of protection around us, and we live in His kingdom of abundance.

10)  The Messiah restores fallen Creation

The Messiah doesn’t only save people from ultimate destruction, but He is powerful and mighty, and He has power over all Creation.

He restores Creation to the original beauty of the first seven days. There is no more bloodshed and killing. The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat. Children will walk and lead a cow and a lion to pasture so they may eat straw together. A child will play by the nest of a cobra and viper den and mothers need not worry. The days of getting hurt or destroyed will disappear. The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

Truly, the Messiah is unlike any other. He breaks the yoke of the oppressor and frees Creation from bondage.

11)  The Messiah rules with perfect righteousness

As the Messiah rules on the Holy Mountain of God, He is clothed in righteousness and faithfulness. He does not serve any master except the Lord God. He is filled with the Spirit, knowledge, and fear of the Lord.

His only delight is to fear the Lord and this is His guide. He need not look or listen, but He is all-knowing. He knows evil and good. He judges every situation, not with His eyes or ears, but with a perfect nature of holiness. He makes a decision of righteousness. The poor and afflicted run to His throne to receive fairness, while the wicked are crushed by the words of His mouth. His lips pour forth proclamations of righteousness and racial prejudice, wars, poverty, corruption, greed, jealousy,  evil and every kind of injustice is forever slain and abolished. (Isaiah 11:2-5)

Oh, how we await the ruling of the Messiah!

12)  The Messiah reigns eternally

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

God gave us His Son, a child is born to us. And God’s perfect Son will sit on the throne of David and rule as a great and mighty King. We will call Him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace. His government will span from one end of the universe to the other.

After ten thousand years, we will not have to worry if His government will come to an end. It will not. He will establish and uphold justice and righteousness forevermore.

God promises that He is going to make it happen. God is zealous to make it happen. Nothing can undo what God can do.

Glorify God by faithfully worshipping the Messiah

Here are two great reasons to worship the Messiah.

The Messiah Accomplishes God’s glory

We always fall short. We know we are to glorify God with our lives, but when we hear the command of Scripture, we know we will never live up to the ideal. We become discouraged, sad, and maybe even depressed as we realize we never live up to God’s standards.

(Analogy of an undeserved gift. Imagine I am a millionaire and I bought us all tickets to go to the Superbowl and the seats are the best in the Arena. The last thing I’d want you to do is to spend the entire game talking about how you couldn’t get tickets. )

Do we live up to God’s standards? NO! That’s the point. If we can live up to God’s standards, we wouldn’t need Jesus. But, we do need Him. God does not want us to despair. God wants us to rejoice. He knows we may never live up to His standards. He loves us as a Father, and He sent a solution to our need. Jesus is the answer. He dies so we may live.  Jesus bridges the gap between our failure and God’s standard of perfection. He takes our sin and gives us His righteousness. God wants us to rejoice that Jesus is victorious. He wants us to love His Son and praise Him.

The gospel is the good news that we are made perfect in the Messiah of Israel. Think about how the Messiah is a complete answer to all of our needs. He brings light into our darkness. He replaces our sorrow with gladness. He rescues us from the clutches of our enemies. He brings us to His kingdom where there is no pain, sorrow, tears, or lack. And, He restores creation so we may live in abundance and peace forevermore.

Our salvation is not based on measuring our performance as a Christian. Our salvation is based on our faith that Jesus pays it all. To receive this beautiful gift of the Messiah, all we need to do is believe in Him by faith and love Him. There is nothing else we need to do except to love Jesus. Jesus paid it all.

Live with Hope

These truths about the Messiah are amazing. During the time of Isaiah, we can be sure these truths helped them preserve through the challenging times. Some people listened to Isaiah and heeded God’s warnings. During the time of captivity in Babylon, people like Daniel held this book dearly and were waiting for the Messiah. The words of hope about the Messiah of Israel helped them to persevere.

It is no surprise that at the beginning of the first century that the book of Isaiah was widely circulated. The Jews were waiting for the Messiah to come and break the bonds of Rome. Many people were waiting for Him. Simeon was waiting for and expecting the Messiah. David’s throne had sat empty for over 600 years. People studied the prophecy and waited, looking for the King who would sit on David’s throne. The Jews in the first century had many hardships. But, they kept their eyes looking for Jesus.

Jesus is our Cornerstone. He is our Captain. He is our Covenant. This world may fall apart, but we may know for sure that the zeal of the Lord of hosts will set Jesus on the throne of David forever. Every event we see is leading up to the Second Coming. We are to look for the return of the Messiah. Our hope is not what will happen on earth, but our hope is looking to the East and watching the clouds.

 

[1] https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/issues-v05-n06/the-genealogy-of-the-messiah/