Saturday, 11 June 2016

The Book of Isaiah

The Book of Isaiah was about God's issues with the Jews before they went into captivity.
They were certain to go into captivity, Isaiah warned.
But they were also assured that their nation would not come to a final end while in captivity - rather, they would be reunited and restored to their land again, resume Levitical worship, their enemies would be put down, even many Gentiles would begin making pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship around that time.
And in that historical context - once that stage would be set - God would then send their Messiah - first as a healing, teaching Messiah; then as a suffering, atoning Saviour; then ultimately as a glorious King. But not all Jews would believe, and Gentiles also would hear about the scheme, and believe - Isaiah foresaw.
It all came to pass. The Bible records the history. And the Apostles used that (objective history, and Scripture) as the basis for their assertion that Jesus is both Lord and Messiah - their Gospel.
So don't mistake all of Isaiah as being still about the future, as though a return to Levitical worship is on the cards for your future. Rather, see it as having prophetically predicted the history which was subsequently fulfilled and which set the stage for Jesus to come. It authenticates the Gospel.
Neither make the mistake of spiritualising the identities in the Prophecies (such as Israel, and the Gentiles) by simply making it directly about the Church, without due regard to the order by which the Church came about, which was: to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. Even though of course all believers in Jesus have come to inherit the same Promised salvation in one new identity, the Church, which is His body.
God's plan is all about Jesus! The Gospel is His highest and final plan. It came to pass in Israel first - and also for all nations.

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