Today Isaiah speaks of Jesus, the spotless Lamb, who is willingly coming to die for our sins – “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
We have all gone astray. There is not one person who ever lived or who will live that doesn’t need a Savior! And since we are all in need of a Savior, it will please the Lord to send His Son to die for us – “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Isaiah says the Lord will redeem Jerusalem and gives them hope for the future. The people will return to fertile land, and they will become numerous. “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.”
Isaiah urges the people to seek the Lord and live; to trust the Lord and His word and experience life – “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. ‘For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’”
The Lord promises salvation to anyone who puts their faith in Him, including the eunuchs and foreigners. He says that everyone who holds “fast My covenant, even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.” Soon in the story a foreign eunuch, Ebed-Melech, is going to save the prophet Jeremiah’s life (Jeremiah 38:7-13). And because Ebed-Melech will trust in the Lord, he will be given life and peace, just as the Lord said (Jeremiah 39:15-18).
There will be peace for the righteous, the ones who trust the Lord, but there will be no peace for the wicked, the ones who ignore the Lord and trust in themselves and their works – “I will declare your righteousness and your works, for they will not profit you. When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry them all away, a breath will take them. But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain… I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made… I create the fruit of the lips: peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,’ says the Lord, ‘And I will heal him.’ But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’”
Out of mercy the Lord provides a way to heal us from our sin nature and give us peace. And it is by the blood of Jesus Christ that we, who all were once dead in our transgressions, are made equal – “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29).
Keep reading. (Isaiah 52:13-57:12)