Saturday, July 23, 2016

Jesus in the Old Testament: Isaiah Part XI

     As we look for Jesus in the Old Testament, by searching those verses where His name, Yeshua ("salvation") is used, we come to a greater understanding of Who He is.
     We are currently looking through Isaiah.  We looked at Isaiah 12:3 in an earlier blog, and now we will examine Isaiah 25:6-9: 
On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
He will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
He will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation (yeshua).”

     Wow.  Jesus' name is woven into the last verse, but His presence is felt throughout the other verses.
     Let's set the scene.  We are invited to a banquet to celebrate a victory.  The previous verses tell of God vanquishing His enemies (the enemies of His people) and "the song of the ruthless is stilled" (verse 5).  Although Israel's enemies have been destroyed, the banquet itself is "for all peoples," not just His chosen.
     Do you detect the gentle perfume of the Messiah at this banquet?  The Messiah, emerging from Israel's powerful legacy, would be for all peoples.  So, this banquet, held with Him in attendance, would have an expansive guest list.
     The purpose of the feast is stated next.  On the very same mountain where the banquet is held, He destroys the "shroud" and the "sheet" that all people face: death itself.  Even the most decorated soldiers will someday die.  Even the most beautiful of celebrations always has an uninvited but undeterred guest:  death.
     But not this banquet.  Death will not lurk around His peoples' victory.  They will dine with no other enemy in sight, including death.  So, because of death's defeat, our God will walk up to each and every guest, and wipe away their tears.  He will point to death's defeat and each of His guest will have no reason to ever cry again.  
     What else is banished from the feast?  "Disgrace" is taken away.  Death is the future and disgrace is in the present, because of the past.  Our heart rejoices in death being gone, but we have to live now, remembering what we have done.
     That, too, is now gone.  
     Realizing all of this, that victory, death and disgrace are gone and we sit before His bounty in utter peace, we too will exclaim that only our God can do this!  We only task is to trust Him, and He saved us. Rejoicing and gladness is our only response to His yeshua, to His salvation.  
     Salvation is of God and from God, and we, sitting in His presence, must rejoice.  
     What kind of meal, what kind of gathering, could make any of this even possible?
     Where could we go where death is banished forever and our disgrace is taken away?  In Matthew 26:26-29, we read:

   While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it          to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

   Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all        of you. This is my blood of the covenant,which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of              sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink        it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

     Do you see it?  At this banquet long ago, this Passover feast, Jesus fulfilled the promises of Isaiah's vision:  His death and resurrection vanquished death and His blood cleanses our consciences, removing our disgrace (Heb. 10:22).   
     Paul echoes Isaiah's banquet with its divine purpose and its fulfillment in Yeshua:    

     But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.            For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.                For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits;        then, when he comes, those who belong to him.  Then the end will come, when he hands over the        kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must        reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For          he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under            him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he        has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so        that God may be all in all.

     So, let us once again listen to the guests in Isaiah's vision give praise to God, and blessed are we to see the fulfillment in Yeshua, Who made it all possible:  
Isaiah: “Surely this is our God..."
Colossians 2:9: "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form..."

Isaiah: "We trusted in him, and he saved us..."
Romans 10:9:  "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Isaiah: "This is the Lord, we trusted in him..."
John 14:1: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me."

Isaiah: "Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation (yeshua).”
Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"

Blessings on you today.  Draw near to God.  He is waiting to draw near to you.

Isaiah 49:6-8
And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of theLord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages…

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