February 7: God Had To Restore Life Himself (not you or me)

As we saw yesterday, we can only live if we have a new heart. A circumcised heart. A heart free from sinful and twisted desires. But we also saw, that we cannot generate this ourselves. God must do it.

Isaiah 63:5. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me salvation,

God had to restore life himself. When God went looking for a person that could bring salvation, none was found. As we see above in Isaiah’s prophecy, God had to bring salvation himself.

This journey of life, that we are on, has to be one where we see that only God can save us from death, and rescue us into his divine life. When left to our own devices, we will all choose the wrong Tree. All the great men and women of the Bible failed to bring the salvation of the Lord. None could recuse us from our greatest enemies- sin and death.

How would God bring life by his own arm?

Isaiah 53:1. Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

Isaiah 53 tells us that God revealed his powerful life saving arm. But how? Keep reading.

Isaiah 53:2-12. For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds 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.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

This, of course, is one of the greatest paradoxes ever, and one of the greatest prophecies of the Christ ever. Read it again. Let it soak in. He gave his life for us. The powerful arm of the Lord is not revealed in a general who annihilates his enemies with some super weapon. Rather, his arm is revealed in the sacrificial death of the God-man, Jesus Christ. He was cut off from the land of the living so that we might live forever with God. God brought life through death. Blessing from curse. Purity from impurity.

To live is Christ. Christ is the arm of the Lord God Yahweh. He desired to remove our hearts of death, and replace them with a heart of life. Christ’s own heart. And he would do anything to accomplish this. Even to the point of death. The holy, transcendent, immortal, creator God died. For you. Do you believe this? Have you received this life?

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