Today’s Reading: Isa 60:1–62:12, Luke 22:63–23:25, Job 13:13–28
Today’s Theme: The price paid for the Kingdom or The Suffering of Christ for the Kingdom of God
Today’s theme looks at the coming kingdom of Christ, where Israel and God’s elect people will be glorified. In our NT reading, we look at the price Jesus paid to make the kingdom (which is both now and not yet) a reality.
Peace in the middle east
Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. Isaiah 60:18 (ESV)
This whole chapter is speaking about the victory and glory Israel will receive in the kingdom.
This verse shows us two things; first this is still to come in the future as there is war in Israel today. Second is that God’s plan is to bring peace and to end war, which essentially means all man’s efforts at peace will fail. Only Jesus at His second coming will bring lasting peace.
We continue to pray that the Lord would speed His return.
The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Isaiah 60:19 (ESV)
This is picked up in Revelation, the creation will be fundamentally changed in the new heaven and new earth, there will be no need for the sun, which is mind boggling from a scientific perspective, but it is the truth of God’s word.
We look forward to the day when the kingdom of God is established.
Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified. Isaiah 60:21 (ESV)
Israel and the engrafted church are God’s planting. God worked hard to redeem, sustain and beautify us and the purpose was for His glory.
God seeking His own glory is one of the key themes running through the bible from creation, then redemption, and finally, through to consummation.
Now and not yet
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; Isaiah 61:1 (ESV)
Jesus quoted only the first half of this declaration, in Luke 4. He went as far as the first line of verse two and then paused.
This is because the fulfilment of this verse would be in two parts. The part He quoted was fulfilled in His first coming, the second part talking about the vengeance of God and restoration of Israel, would be fulfilled at the second coming.
This is why it is often difficult for the Jews to see Jesus as the Messiah who fulfilled these prophecies, because when they look at the prophecy they see it as one act at one time by one man (the Messiah). They did not perceive two distinct periods of time, this is why Jesus said they must be won by our love.
At the same time we must ask God to lead us by His Holy Spirit to do what Jesus did on the road to Emmaus, we should show them in the OT all the scriptures pointing to Him.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 (ESV)
The future glory of Israel is not merely political, the greatest promise to look forward to is Salvation in Christ.
This is the same language used in the NT, this is where we see the promises of future glory and grace for Israel, intertwining with God’s elect church.
Pray for Israel
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch. Isaiah 62:1 (ESV)
This verse reminds us that like Isaiah, we must pray for Israel until we see the fulfilment of the prophecies mentioned before.
Also, the word “not keep silent” reminds us that we should both advocate for and evangelise Israel.
Married to the Land
For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5 (ESV)
The people of Israel will be committed to the land in the same way a man is committed to his wife, we are already starting to see this today.
God will rejoice over Israel as a bride, this is the language of commitment, covenant and love and we see a reflection of this in the NT, where the church is called the bride of Christ.
This is the destiny of all God’s elect, both the bride of Christ and redeemed Israel, together in one new man.
Jesus, mocked and beaten
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. Luke 22:63 (ESV)
We need to read this slowly, Jesus was mocked and beaten, this was the great price He paid for our redemption.
The mockery would have been cruel and the beating severe. We need to pause and mediate on what Jesus endured in His love and obedience to the Father, and His love for us.
They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” Luke 22:64 (ESV)
The soldiers played a cruel game with Jesus, they blindfolded Him and taunted Him with more blows, asking Him to prophecy who struck Him.
I am sure these soldiers were filled with demons in this hour of darkness.
What will the soldiers say on the day of Judgement, when they realise they so shamefully mocked and abused the Lord of glory.
And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him. Luke 22:65 (ESV)
Luke makes the point that the soldiers blasphemed Him, this is further NT evidence that Jesus is seen as divine, only God can be blasphemed.
The answer is Yes
“If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, Luke 22:67 (ESV)
This reveals the answer as yes, because there would be no discussion if His answer was no.
Jesus the Christ
Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.” Luke 22:71 (ESV)
The scribes and priests agree by this statement, that Jesus declared Himself to be the Christ.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. Luke 23:8 (ESV)
Many people are like this today, they want to see signs and wonders as if the church is a circus for their thrill and entertainment.
Do we just want to see Jesus do things and not want to know Him in love and obedience? If so, we are just like king Herod.
I am Barabas
a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. Luke 23:19 (ESV)
There is a picture here, although we don’t like to admit it, we are all like Barabas. Jesus died in our place, as disgusting and evil as we are, He took our place, we should have been punished and died for our sins. Jesus took the place of the elect that put their faith in Him.
Don’t be weak
So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. Luke 23:24 (ESV)
Pilate was a weak man, he feared man more than God and held position over doing what was right.
We must be careful we don’t fall into the same trap of compromise and pragmatism in our lives, when it comes to our stand for Jesus.
Hope in God
Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face. Job 13:15 (ESV)
Job knew that nothing could happen to him without God’s consent, so he recognised it was God that slayed him, yet his faith remained strong because he said regardless of this, he would hope in God.
This hope gives some context for Job’s plea for an audience with God, although it still gives no excuse to the angry and rude way in which he seeks to address God.
In Job’s mind, he has done nothing wrong which is essentially true, but the wider truth is that we are a fallen race and have all sinned before God and as the NT says, are children of wrath, so whatever good we receive in this life is not deserved, entitled or earned. Instead we must recognise this as the mercy (not getting what we deserve) and grace (getting what we don’t deserve) of God, extended to us.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Luke 23