Restoration Bride

Bride

Isaiah Lesson 13   Isaiah 54-55                   Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering 

The Barren Woman Will Give Birth! Isaiah 54:1-5, Genesis 12:1-3, 17:3-4

The prophesy in chapter 54 of Isaiah is all about Israel’s forgiveness by a gracious God.  At the writing of this prophecy Israel had yet to experience the full extent of their Assyrian captivity and hadn’t even began to experience their 70 year Babylonian captivity (605B.C.-536B.C.). In their future would even come a history of terrible consequences for their    rejection and crucifixion of their Messiah, yet God, even in advance of their punishment for sin, gives them the promise of His forgiveness and grace.  This takes us back even to the beginning of the first prophecy recorded in Isaiah where God pleads with the rebellious nation to repent:  

  “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.  If you are willing and obedient you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 1:18-20

 The Apostle John reminds us of the same promise to anyone who sins:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  I John 1:9

 God desires to forgive and heal His wayward “wife”.  That is the reference here to Israel.  She is like a wayward wife.  Actually God likens her to a “prostitute”.

 See how the faithful city has become a prostitute! Isaiah 1:21a

She (Israel) has been unfaithful and so the Lord (her husband) has temporarily abandoned her.  The  promise of children that God had made to her had been delayed  because of her unfaithfulness so she is “barren” and feels shame and disgrace.  The “promise of children” was the promise that God first made to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3, 17:3-4.  At the time of Isaiah’s prophecy Israel was not a “great nation”, let alone one who had born “many nations”, but God is reminding Israel (His chosen bride) that this promise will one day be realized.  God tells His bride to enlarge her tent because her descendants will take over nations and settle in those cities.  This of course is exactly what Israel has accomplished throughout history to become a great nation.  The prophesy to birth many nations came through the birth of Christianity.)  God will do as He promised for Israel    although Israel doesn’t deserve it.  It is because Christ is her redeemer.

The Adulterous Woman Brought Back  Isaiah 54:6-10, Hosea 3:1-3

God is angry with sin and will allow for consequences for it, but He will not desert His people.  He will have compassion on those who seek forgiveness.  Let us look again at the apostle John’s writings for more clarity:

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.  1 John 1:8-10

Both prophets Isaiah and Hosea were contemporaries with profound similarities in their writings, especially in the usage of the metaphor of Israel behaving like a prostitute.  Hosea actually was told by God to marry a prostitute (Gomer)  to illustrate His compassion on Israel despite her unfaithfulness and “love” for the  food (“raisin cakes”) and festivals offered to Baal (false god).

God promises to bring His bride back with everlasting kindness.  His unfailing love will not be shaken–just as Hosea demonstrated with his wayward wife.

The Afflicted Woman Restored Isaiah 54:11-17, Matthew 16:13-18

Once beaten down by the consequences of sin, the bride is now restored in love.  The phrase: “All your children will be taught by the Lord and great will be their peace”, is a reference to the “many nations” born through faith in Christ.  For we know that “peace” only comes “to those on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:14, John 14:27, Philippians 4:7).  The Lord has restored and rebuilt His bride and “No weapon forged against her will      prevail”.  She has been restored by being redeemed by Christ.  When Peter was asked by Christ what he thought of Him, Peter responded: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  On that fact (rock) Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell  will not overcome it.  The church is this same bride redeemed and protected by the Messiah.  The true bride of Christ is the church.

“Come All Who Are Thirsty” Isaiah 55, Matthew 11:28, Revelation 19:7

Isaiah 55 is an invitation to “all” who are thirsty.  The Lord is likening eating bread and wine (Communion: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) and milk (The Word of God: 1 Peter 2:2) to knowing Christ the redeemer.  This is the “everlasting covenant” promised to King David (Isaiah 55:3, 1 Chronicles 17:11-14) which prophesied about Jesus’ throne being established forever.

“All” are beckoned to “Seek the Lord (Jesus) while He may be found and to call on Him while He is near.”  “All” are told to forsake their wicked ways and turn to the Lord so that they can be “freely pardoned”.  God closes His invitation by reminding “All” that His ways are higher than our ways, and His word has gone out from His mouth and will not return to Him empty.  In other words: His invitation is through Christ alone and His people will respond.  His “sheep will hear His voice” (John 10:26-28).  One day all of creation will rejoice (“burst into song”) on this great wedding day of the church.  Get ready!

The Suffering Servant 2

JESUScross

Isaiah Lesson 12 Isaiah 53                                               Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering 

 Who Has Believed?  Isaiah 53:1-3, Isaiah 11:1-3, John 14:6

 Unfortunately, modern Rabbis of Judaism teach that the “Suffering Servant” of Isaiah 53 refers perhaps to Israel, or to Isaiah himself, or even Moses or another of the Jewish prophets. But Isaiah is clear – he speaks of the Messiah, as many ancient rabbis concluded.

The second verse of Isaiah 53 confirms this clarity. The figure grows up as “a young plant, (tender shoot) and like a root out of dry ground.” The shoot springing up is beyond      reasonable doubt a reference to the Messiah.  As we learned in Lesson #4, The Davidic dynasty (Israel/ Judah) was to be cut down in judgment like a felled tree, but it was     promised to Israel that a new sprout would shoot up from the stump. Jesus Christ is the “Shoot” that comes up from the “Stump (Israel) of Jesse”.  Jesse was the father of King David.  The “Stump of Jesse”; therefore, is a picture of Israel cut down by God’s wrath, but His promise to bring redemption and salvation to His people rises up from that “stump!” The sprout is Jesus Christ.  As we learned in last week’s lesson, only Jesus has “Sprinkled many nations” with His forgiving blood (Isaiah 52:15).  He is the one of whom Isaiah spoke of when “kings shut their mouths”.

When God rebuked Israel for not responding when He came to them in Isaiah 50:2, He said: “Was my arm too short to deliver you?”  In Isaiah 53:1 He asks Israel again: “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”  It is God’s arm delivering forgiveness and grace through the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ.  To whom has Jesus been revealed? (to all who call upon His name.)

  • For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”.  Romans 10:13
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ                                                    Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

 The gift of salvation is free and God has delivered this gift through Jesus Christ.  His arm was not too short to save and His arm has revealed Christ to the whole world.  The big question is “Who has believed our (The Trinity) message.

  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

 The father has provided One Way, One Truth, One Life!   There is no other!  John 14:6

 God has provided but one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ.  God did not send salvation on a white stallion with a fanfare of trumpets.  He had clearly established who He would send and what He would be like for anyone interested enough to read His word or to listen to His prophets.  God did not send salvation wrapped up in a beautiful package of celebrity status.  The package had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him.  God did not send Him to tickle our ears or to entertain us with pleasure.  He sent Him to be slaughtered as a sacrifice for our sins.  Mankind despised and rejected Him, hid their faces from Him and held Him in low esteem…most of mankind still does.  None the less,  there is salvation in no one else, or nothing else.  He alone can save you from the damnation of your soul that is just punishment for the rejection of His essential and lavish gift. “Who has believed our message?”

Punishment for Peace…Wounds for Healing  Isaiah 53:4-6, Luke 2:14, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

As we read through Isaiah’s prophecy (Written over 700 years before the birth of Christ) it clearly describes Jesus who took mankind’s pain, suffering and punishment for sin upon Himself.  He was pierced (nailed) for our transgressions (sins) and crushed for our iniquities (wickedness).  His punishment brings peace (Luke 2:14) and healing to all who believe and receive Him because God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9) through Him restores our broken relationship (because of sin: Romans 6:23) with our Creator ( 2 Corinthians 5:17-21)  and makes us His children and ambassadors of hope (Matthew 28:19-20).

 The fact that Isaiah calls mankind “sheep” that have gone astray and turned our own way is

a beautiful reminder of Jesus’ teaching on Himself being the Good Shepherd(John 10:1-18) . In the sixteenth verse of that passage Jesus even mentions that He had other sheep (Gentiles) that were not of that sheep pen (Israel). Of them He said: “I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd”. Just as the Apostle Peter wrote, God wants all to come to repentance.

 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

 He Was…  Isaiah 53:7-12   

Only Jesus was… • “Oppressed and afflicted like a lamb ([Passover lamb: Exodus 12:13) to the slaughter and did not open His mouth” • “cut off from the land of the living” without protest from His generation.  • “assigned a grave with the wicked, (crucified between two thieves) and with the rich in His death” (Buried in a rich man’s tomb) • “had done no  violence nor was any deceit in His mouth”  • was offered by the Lord as “an offering for sin”. • was “satisfied” to “pour out His life unto death” to “justify many” • “bore the sin of many, and made intercession for transgressors (sinners)”.  Isaiah 53 is only about Jesus!

And He clearly said:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

For the Jew, the Muslim, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Atheist, the Agnostic and all peoples everywhere. Politically incorrect as it may be, offensive as one might become, God has created this path to Himself and there is no other.  “Who shall believe?”

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

 He Was…  Isaiah 53:7-12   

Only Jesus was… • “Oppressed and afflicted like a lamb ([Passover lamb: Exodus 12:13) to the slaughter and did not open His mouth” • “cut off from the land of the living” without protest from His generation.  • “assigned a grave with the wicked, (crucified between two thieves) and with the rich in His death” (Buried in a rich man’s tomb) • “had done no  violence nor was any deceit in His mouth”  • was offered by the Lord as “an offering for sin”. • was “satisfied” to “pour out His life unto death” to “justify many” • “bore the sin of many, and made intercession for transgressors (sinners)”.  Isaiah 53 is only about Jesus!

And He clearly said:

 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

For the Jew, the Muslim, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Atheist, the Agnostic and all peoples everywhere. Politically incorrect as it may be, offended as one might become, God has created this path to Himself and there is no other.  “Who shall believe?”