Dec 18, 2023
The LORD promised to send His Servant who would offer up Himself as a guilt offering for the sins of the people. He would bear their sins and remove their iniquity. In doing so, He would restore peace between them and God. Their sins deserved God’s wrath and judgment. This Servant would atone for their wrong doing and satisfy God’s holy indignation.
By satisfying God’s wrath, the Servant would swing open the door of Salvation. In Him, an offer would go out to the Jews and then to the nations,
1 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1 ESV)
Many would hear the good news of the Servant and the invitation to come to the LORD and know satisfaction. But in their sins, they would not hear even though they had ears and they would not perceive even though they had eyes (Is 6:9-10). The whole world would be lost, all the nations would perish, if God the LORD did not act yet again. If His provision stopped with a mere invitation the nations would perish.
Amazingly, in addition to sending His Servant, the LORD would also send His Spirit.
21 “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.” (Isaiah 59:21 ESV)
Just as the Spirit rested upon the Servant (Is 11:1-3), so the Spirit shall come and rest upon His people of His new covenant. This Spirit would undo the blindness and deafness of the people. By His work they would see and know the LORD. They would perceive the glory of the Servant and with clear eyes and ears they would come to delight in the fear of the LORD.
When all is said and done, the full number of God’s people would be gathered from every tribe and nation into one city, a new Jerusalem.
17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. (Isaiah 65:17-18 ESV)
Much may be said about this new heavens and new earth along with the new Jerusalem created by the LORD, but first it must be said that the mere existence of such points to the success of the Servant. He would come, sent by the LORD to redeem, restore, and establish a people of God who love Him, rejoice in Him, and serve Him. God through Isaiah makes perfectly clear, the Servant accomplishes His work. In Him a new city will be established. He does not fail. He saves. He conquers. He reigns. His work does not remain incomplete. No, He accomplishes every purpose of the LORD (Is 46:8-13). Zion will know deliverance, joy, and glory. God will put it there and He will do so by the work of the Servant and the power of His Spirit.
God’s Servant, Jesus, Works by His Spirit Even Now to Complete His Work.
Jesus, the Servant, arrived on the scene about 2,000 years ago. He did all God the LORD sent Him to do. He bore the sins of men and atoned for their transgressions. He went into the grave and then three days later God raised Him up to life in victory of sin and death. His resurrected body served as the first fruits of a new world order - a new heaven and earth - into which all who are in Jesus by faith will one day enter as well.
How will those from the nations enter into Jesus by faith? They will do so by the announcement of good news that Jesus is the Servant and in Him there is salvation and life. Christ has removed every external barrier to man’s coming to the LORD. He has empowered and sent his followers with the Holy Spirit to the ends of the earth proclaiming the victory of Christ. The Spirit promised in Isaiah goes with the messengers and accompanies their message so that when men hear the gospel they do not just hear the sounds of the words but they hear and understand. They perceive. The see. They believe.
4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. (I Thessalonians 1:4-5 ESV)
It is by the work of this Spirit sent by Jesus that
17 …faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17 ESV)
God is even now continuing to advance the work of His Servant through the testimony of His messengers (See Jn 17). One day this work will find completion. Jesus will return and, with His return, a new heaven and earth will come. There, all God’s people will live and dwell with full delight and joy as they live and fellowship with each other and with Jesus.
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-3 ESV)
Work with Anticipation
All of history flows toward the existence of a new heaven and earth, a city of God in which joy and gladness abound. What encouragement and motivation we find in this promise to work towards this end. Christ came. He served. He endured. He died. By His work, His joy and ours have been secured.
Should we not do the same. Whatever we might gain by abandoning the work of taking the good news of the gospel to the nations so that people might see and believe will prove temporary and foolish in comparison to that new, eternal and joyous city to come. If indeed God is right now gathering people from every tribe to join us in joy in that city, would we not prove wise to join the effort even if it costs us dearly in this temporary heaven and earth?
So then with the joy set before us, let us pick up our cross and follow Jesus with endurance. Let’s us run this race here in this present world with all its troubles, so that we might know maximum joy in the world to come. Let’s carry the gospel to the nations at the ends of the earth and to the neighbors nearby praying and trusting that God by His Spirit will give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and faith to the unbelieving.