2016-09-02 - The Messiah of Isaiah and John
Have you ever seen one of those speed painters who work as you watch? The ones I've seen always seem to do something at some point that completely changes your perspective. If you'd like an example of what I mean look at this video of David Girabaldi [click here]. The perspective changes and it suddenly makes sense. The prophet Isaiah painted a picture of the Messiah with words and the Apostle John finishes it off following the perspective change from life in the "Before Christ" time to the years following his death, burial, and resurrection.
I want to key in on just two verses: "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined … or unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:2-6 NKJV)
In the pit of darkness, God sent a child – His very son – as a light. We see this clearly from John's side when he gives a beautiful depiction of the nativity. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it … and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-4,14 NKJV)
Isaiah paints a bleak, dark picture of the world - and then light bursts forth. A human child is born into this earth, but he is no ordinary child; he is the God Son given to save us. He will change everything. And hundreds of years later, prophecy became reality. John tells us that Jesus is that light Isaiah had predicted. John eloquently explains what Isaiah prophetically proclaimed. In both of these accounts, there are two main items that tell us a lot about Jesus.
First, he is the light in our darkness. Darkness has no defense against light. Light holds all the power. This is great news, that the Messiah can drive away the darkness. But as light dispels darkness, it causes the ugly and hidden things to come to light, also. The light reveals our flaws. I heard a preacher say, "It's okay to not be okay, but it's not okay to stay that way." Once light reveals our sin, we need it to be addressed. And that's why it is so good that the light is God in the flesh – we need a supernatural savior that can remove the sin that us revealed, and can make us clean.
This is the second component Isaiah alludes to, and John confesses. Jesus is not just a human savior, but he is in fact God in the flesh. A child is born; he is fully human. He was born flesh from flesh, born of the virgin Mary. A Son is given; the son was not born but already existed. He came into this earth from heaven as a gift. The Word – the one who was with God the Father and is in fact God himself – became flesh.
The Messiah Jesus came to show us our sin problem. It was never a matter of just following the rules, but of seeing the ugliness of our own heart and realizing that we could not do it. The light reveals itself, and it is a stark contrast to the ugliness of our own wicked lives. But the Messiah would not be much of a messiah, if he only showed the problem, so he also solves it. Jesus is the gift God gave us to eradicate our sin, to heal us of the disease that infects our soul and separates us from Him.
What does the light of Jesus reveal in your life? Will you quit hiding it in the darkness, and turn it over to him? He can deliver you from it – He is the Messiah, the Savior. He is not just the light of Isaiah and John. He is the light of the world. And he can be your light, too.
All scripture references from KJV (King James Version) unless otherwise noted