Friday, November 6, 2015

No One to Intercede

In the book of Isaiah there are many prophetic revelations of Christ, some of which I explained in my previous article, The Servant of the Lord. Today I would like to focus on two parallel passages that speak of the redemptive mission of Christ.

In these passages, we have a picture of a pitiful situation, in which the Lord's people are all gone astray, there is no justice, truth has been cast aside, everyone is rebelling against Him, and there is no one to intercede or come and help them out of their dilemma. The Lord looks and is displeased. He knows that they will all perish, unless something is done to rescue them. So God rolls up His sleeves and arises in His awesome power to do it Himself.

If you just look at one of the two passages, you have part of the picture, but if you look at both passages, cross-referencing them to each other, you get the complete picture.  The two passages interpret and explain each other, so that there is no question remaining that they are telling of marvelous work of our Lord Jesus, when they are read and understood together. Let’s compare these two passages:

In the first passage, the prophet speaks of the Lord in the third person (He, Him) saying, "And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle." (Isa 59:16-17)

In the second passage, the prophet also speaks of the Lord in the third person again, but the Lord speaks of Himself in the first person (I, Me, My) in ways that correspond directly to the same subjects found in the first passage. He says, "Who is this who comes from Edom, With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One who is majestic in His apparel, Marching in the greatness of His strength? 'It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.' Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? 'I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment. 'For the day of vengeance was in My heart, And My year of redemption has come. I looked, and there was no one to help, And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; So My own arm brought salvation to Me, And My wrath upheld Me. I trod down the peoples in My anger And made them drunk in My wrath, And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.'"  (Isa 63:1-6)

Now let's look at each verse in each passage and match it up with it's corresponding counterpart in the other passage:

Topic Isaiah 59 Isaiah 63
No man “And He saw that there was no man.”  (Isa 59:16) "And from the peoples there was no man with Me.” (Isa 63:3b)
Astonished…no one to help “And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;” (Isa 59:16a) "I looked, and there was no one to help, And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; (Isa 63:5a)
Salvation by His own arm “Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,” (Isa 59:16b) "So My own arm brought salvation to Me,” (Isa 63:5b)
Righteousness "And His righteousness upheld Him."  (Isa 59:16c) "And My wrath upheld Me.” (Isa 63:5c)
Salvation and Redemption "He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head;" (Isa 59:17a)

"A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," declares the LORD.” (Isa 59:20)
“So He became their Savior.” (Isa 63:8b)

In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them... (Isa 63:9a)
Garments of Vengeance "And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle." (Isa 59:17b) “Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? ‘It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save.’ (Isa 63:1, NIV)

Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? (Isa 63:2, NIV)

“I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing.” (Isa 63:3)

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."  (Rev 19:11-16)
Vengeance and wrath "According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; To the coastlands He will make recompense." (Isa 59:18) "For the day of vengeance was in My heart," (Isa 63:4a)
Redemption “’The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,’ declares the Lord.” (Isa 59:20) "My year of redemption has come." (Isa 63:4b)

I hope that this study from Isaiah has helped to build your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, Who did for us what no one else could do. And I hope it has also reassured you of the fact that He is coming back again, not to die for sins, but to execute vengeance on the wicked.

This should put the fear of the Lord into all of us! I would not want to be found as one of His enemies when He comes back again. When the Lord does something, He always does it thoroughly and completely. When He completed His saving work on the cross, He was completely obedient to the Father, even unto death on a cross. When He had done everything the Father required to save mankind, He said, "It is finished!" Likewise, when He comes back again, He will thoroughly repay wrath to His adversaries and recompense to His enemies.

Are you ready for His return? If not, now is the time to repent. Let us return to the Lord. Let us seek His face once again.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, and others are from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted. "I Love You" and "Behold He Comes" paintings © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note: I also recommend reading Who intercedes for us?, The Servant of the Lord, Having a Servant's Heart, The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer, The Shepherding Role of Elders, Crucified with Christ, What Jesus Did Not Do on the CrossHoly Washings - Part II, Persecuted or Popular?, and Success in God's Eyes. You may also access other articles about the Good Shepherd on the Home page for this blog, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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