March 4, 2019

Epiphany

By: Larry Shaffer

Got you to look, now don’t miss this post. Please!

This is my favorite “I can’t believe you did that” picture from our wedding!

Epiphany 

Isaiah 53, post # 4

I woke up with an epiphany this morning. Clarity and insight ran through my head. It was so enlightening to me that I rose from bed at 4:45am with a sense of excitement. I’ll try to explain it, but epiphanies are difficult to convey at the depth that they are felt by their fortunate recipients. I was a fortunate recipient this morning. 

It’s very cool the way the brain works. It’s actually somewhat predictably but we don’t activate it in the way we should. We should be more diligent than anyone to activate our brains because as Christians, we have even greater possibilities with the value of our brains because we have the power of the Holy Spirit’s promises to enlighten our brains not only with earthly insight but spiritual insight as well. 

So anyway, I asked myself several times yesterday how I should I approach Isaiah 53 in order to explain its depth in an understandable manner. I’ve provided some solid background the last few posts, and that’s good. But now it’s time to get into the text itself. Several years ago, I preached a sermon on Isaiah 53 and I concluded feeling I fell short of a good sermon. It was long sermon. That happens sometimes when I try to make up for lack of clarity with a volume of words. Everything I said was true, but I didn’t have the clarity to make it concise. 

So, with that build up, I suppose I’m setting you up to be disappointed. But once again, epiphanies are never as meaningful to others as to the recipient. So do your best to trust me. This is very enlightening for me and key to understanding this passage. 

Here it is: the context of Isaiah 53 is the second coming of Christ. There it is. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? The words written by Isaiah in approximately 700BC are words spoken at the Second Coming of Jesus about events that took place approximately 30AD.  I’m not sure this is a big deal to you, but it is to me as a Bible student and teacher. Please smile and indulge my excitement 🙂. 

We are in the second half of Isaiah, which is a section on salvation for the Jewish nation. There’s much we can learn as Gentile Christians. The second half of Isaiah has four “Songs of the Messiah.” Superlative Hebrew literature. Isaiah 53 is the fourth Song of the Messiah. The scene is…. drum roll please…. wait for it…..let the excitement build…..here it is again…the scene is the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the time when; 

God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11. 

Another passage in the New Testament points to this time of Jesus’ second coming.  

That a partial hardening has happened (with the Jews) until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, the Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is my covenant with them (Israel), when I take away their sins. Romans 11:25-27. 

We are currently in the ‘time of the Gentiles’. We call this the ‘church age’ which occurs between the first coming of Jesus and the Rapture, quickly followed by the great Tribulation and Jesus’ second coming. When, on God’s time-table, the fullness of our current ‘time of the Gentiles’ is complete, the events of the second coming will take place. The ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah 53 takes place at the second coming of Jesus. 

We’ll get into the actual text of Isaiah 53 next time. I promise! 

Father, first, we are so blessed and grateful to be part of the Your remnant of believers today. Thank you that You have called us and enlightened us BEFORE Your coming. Unlike so many others who have no idea about what is to come, we know and we anticipate. For to us, Your coming is the sweet and eternal salvation of our souls AND bodies. Amen.