June 23 – Isaiah 52

Our reading for the next two days really feels like one piece. In fact, in my Bible, the words The LORD’s Suffering Servant are placed before Isaiah 52:13 and that passage continues into Isaiah 53.

We are now hitting the heart of the gospel message told to us by an Old Testament prophet hundreds of years before Jesus came. This portion of Isaiah has brought many a Jewish person into the kingdom. It did in the early days of the church, as well, I am sure. Paul and the other apostles “argued from the scriptures” in the synagogues. The description of Jesus’ death is SO clear in these verses it’s stunning.

But let’s go back to our current chapter. Isaiah is getting excited. He has incredible news. “Wake up, wake up, O Zion!” he trumpets in verse 1. Even with all the sorrow in his own present age, Isaiah has seen the future and it is good. He’s so eager to share it. One of the most beautiful descriptions of those who bring the good news of salvation and redemption is found in Isaiah 52:7. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!”

I wonder what it must have been like for Isaiah to look ahead and see Jesus, so disfigured one would hardly know He was a man. And yet, this same suffering Servant would also startle kings. Jesus’ message was revolutionary and His death and resurrection was incredible. He offered Himself on our behalf at great personal cost. Isaiah must have worked hard to find the words to describe all that was to take place. It’s astounding how closely he saw in advance what we know happened that day on the hill of Golgotha.

My verse: Isaiah 52:8 “The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the LORD returning to Jerusalem.”

My response: Isaiah is permitted to see such a kaleidoscope of future events. This one warms my heart – someday You Yourself will take up residence in the new Jerusalem. What a wonder!! Come, Lord Jesus, come!!

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June 22 – Isaiah 50