Crispads

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 50

It is hard to understand in human terms what sin does. In chapter 50 of Isaiah we get a better picture of that sin, as the prophet Isaiah outlines how that sin separates us from God. This chapter also delves into the servant's nature of Christ and how He obeyed His mandate to take away that sin. When we sin it may not seems like much. A white lie can end up hurting no one. A minor discretion can only hurt us temporarily, but we are quickly able to get over it. In a spiritual sense, however, it removes us from God. It separates us from the person that God wants us to be. Without Christ's sacrifice there is also no way for us to mend that separation in our own ways.

1 This is what the LORD says:
       "Where is your mother's certificate of divorce
       with which I sent her away?
       Or to which of my creditors
       did I sell you?
       Because of your sins you were sold;
       because of your transgressions your mother was sent away. Isaiah 50:1

Sin is a form of bondage. It is something that we have no hope to escape from except in the person of Jesus Christ. Every single person that is currently living or has ever lived, except for Christ, is bonded by this sin because it is inherent in our human nature. We cannot absolve it through ourselves because of our nature. It has tainted our souls to the point we are separated from God because of it. Because Christ was perfect, because He was both fully God and fully man, and sacrificed Himself on the cross the penalty for that sin has been paid. Through this sacrifice the price has been paid and if we accept this gift of salvation Christ pays our way out of bondage through His blood. It is literally hard for me to sit here and write these words without breaking down. Isaiah saw the need for this more than 800 years before the sacrifice and was called to write it down so we would know today that it was true. He even goes further in this chapter by removing all doubt there is only one light to search for in this darkness.

10 Who among you fears the LORD
       and obeys the word of his servant?
       Let him who walks in the dark,
       who has no light,
       trust in the name of the LORD
       and rely on his God.

 11 But now, all you who light fires
       and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
       go, walk in the light of your fires
       and of the torches you have set ablaze.
       This is what you shall receive from my hand:
       You will lie down in torment. – Isaiah 50:10-11

This is a great poetic metaphor. Isaiah is telling us that when we light our own fire we are trying to find our own way out of darkness. This is foolish because we know from verse 10 that Jesus is the only light of the Lord. He is the only way we can properly find our way out of the darkness. When we light our own fires we are relying on ourselves to find our way. Since "our way" was what got us into the darkness in the first place you can easily see the folly in this.

6 I offered my back to those who beat me,
       my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
       I did not hide my face
       from mocking and spitting.

 7 Because the Sovereign LORD helps me,
       I will not be disgraced.
       Therefore have I set my face like flint,
       and I know I will not be put to shame. – Isaiah 50:6-7

Again we see Isaiah looking to the future here. This is an apt description of the way Christ suffered before the Crucifixion. Through it all, though, he is not disgraced, but glorified. He did not back down from what He had to do. It is a wonderful, unspeakable act of humility that Christ lowered Himself to this role of servant so that we may be set free from the bondage of our own sin. It weakens my knees just to think of this.

TODAY'S QUESTIONS:

  1. How is Christ the light in your darkness?
  2. How have things turned out before when you have tried to create your own light?
  3. How can we serve to honor this sacrifice?

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