Damariscotta Baptist Church
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Growing personal relationships with God and community

05/06/18 Sermon - The Promised Messiah

“The Promised Messiah”

Isaiah 9:1-7


Today’s Scripture begins with a reminder of what we read in the last verse of the previous chapter, the gloom where Isaiah warned Judah about the coming invasion from Assyria.


Isaiah 8:22 “Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.”


Isaiah was letting the Jewish nation know that although the Assyrians would invade and especially hit hard the northern regions of the Promised Land, the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, there would one day be blessing associated with this region around the Sea of Galilee.


It may help to give you a geographical understanding of this passage. The Assyrian conquest began in the northern tribal territory of “Zebulun” and “Naphtali”, which extended from the Jezreel Valley northward to the foot of Mount Hermon. Today a major part of this area is known as the Huleh Valley. It is where the Jordan River flows through the valley before emptying into the Sea of Galilee. If you can picture this in your mind, it was a very lush agricultural area and at the time was the main trade route from Mesopotamia to Egypt, known as “the way of the sea.” So it would make sense that this area was desirable to own. Isaiah was declaring that even though there would be a time of grief and despair, by the grace of God, they would also experience the joy of triumph and victory. Matthew quotes this passage in Matthew 4:13-16, to demonstrate that Jesus was clearly fulfilling this prophecy.

 

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,

   the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,

   Galilee of the Gentiles—

16 the people living in darkness

   have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death

   a light has dawned.”[f]

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”



Isaiah continued in verses 3-5 to declare there would be joy in the Messiah’s deliverance and victory. Jesus certainly agreed with this statement, because in Matthew 9:14-15, Jesus equated his ministry to like having a wedding party. Isaiah described their rejoicing like when there was a harvest, when all the hard work of planting and tending the crop produced an abundance, or like when men rejoiced when they divide the spoil, a celebration of victory, as in the locker room of a championship team.


Isaiah continues to describe this joy like the day of Midian, when Gideon had his victory over Midian in Judges 7. Isaiah then describes how they will know that the victory is complete, he refers to “Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.”This is what the warriors would do when their battles were finished and they had won, this meant the battle was truly over, for they would not need these items any longer.

Check out these promises that Isaiah gives. He references great joy, by the breaking of the yoke of his burden and the breaking of the rod of his oppressor. This is exactly what Jesus does for us today.


In Ephesians 2:6 it says, And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,


As we sit there with Jesus, do we see Jesus sad or worried or afraid? Does Jesus ever groan under the yoke of his burden?  When is Jesus’ victory incomplete?


Verse 6 describes the glory of the Messiah who will reign. Isaiah was giving the prophecy of the Messiah. To begin with, the Messiah was going to be born, a child. Okay, if you were to hear this for the first time, you may have thought the idea of the Messiah, being a baby rather odd. There is nothing more weak, more helpless, more dependent than a child.

Let’s face it, theoretically God could have had the Messiah be a fully grown man, just as he created Adam as a man. But then, Jesus would not have been able to fully identify with humanity, and have the opportunity to display in His life the servant nature that is in God, so he had to start out just like each of us, as a child. Isaiah goes on to say that this child would be a Son. Not just any son, but the Son of God, the Second Person of the Godhead. And this Son was given. What a perfect gift!


The next verse of the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, the government will be upon His shoulder. This will occur in the Millennium, when Jesus Christ will rule the earth as King of Kings.


Isaiah then gives us a list of aspects of the Messiah’s character, that describe who He is and what He has come to do.


The Messiah is:

  • Wonderful, it’s true, if you really know Jesus, you cannot look at Him and be bored, he is amazing!


  • Counselor, Jesus is the one who is capable to guide us and help us with our problems, he may use other people to accomplish this but ultimately he is our counselor.


  • Mighty God, he is the God of all creation, a direct declaration of his deity.


  • The Everlasting Father, these words in Hebrew have the meaning of the Messiah being the source or author of all eternity, that He is the Creator, it does NOT mean that Jesus Himself is the person of the Father of the Trinity.


  • Prince of Peace, the Messiah is the one who makes peace, for all, especially between God and humans.


Isaiah then goes on to describe that the glory of the Messiah’s reign, will never end.


This prophecy may have sounded too good to be true, yet Isaiah declares that the LORD of all heavenly armies was the one giving this promise and He always accomplishes what He says He will do.


The Promised Messiah, is not just a promise for those listening to Isaiah thousands of years ago. The Promised Messiah, is God with Us, Immanuel, today as well, for each of us. God wants to turn our darkness into light, our conflict into peace, our loss into abundance, our despair into joy.


But how can a transcendent, morally perfect, infinite, eternal being, be with us who are created, sinful, finite and mortal?


The answer is in the prophecy….By God taking on the flesh of humanity, becoming a child, born of a virgin, but as the son of God. The transcendent becomes one of the created, He is literally  “with us.” And then, the Messiah, took into himself the sin and oppression, the horror and tragedy of the world and in return He gave back righteousness and freedom, hope and fulfillment.


The real question of the day, comes down to this. Is God with you? Have you accepted Jesus, the Messiah, as your personal Savior? Today as we celebrate the gift of new life, given through the body and the blood of Jesus, to us, sinners, you have an opportunity to become a part of the family of God, to become a child of the King. I welcome you today, to the Lord’s Supper, where we take time to recognize our sin, that was taken away by the grace of God so that we may one day live eternally with Him.

Where we remember, God is with us.


Let’s pray.