|RPM, Volume 21, Number 7, February 10 to February 16, 2019|
The flow of Isaiah just prior to chapter 49 has emphasized Israel's sin. God restrains His wrath because His glory as God depends on His people Israel not being destroyed (48:9,10) even though just retribution is what they deserved. If God delayed judgment on sin forever (48:9), that would violate the glory of His justice. It was always His plan to save His people from sin, so that He can say without qualification, "I am your God and you are my people" (Leviticus 26:12). For God's words to make sense, Israel must be His people in spiritual reality. He cannot have rebels as His covenant people perpetually! Since they are unable to obey or atone for their sins, God will send a Savior. God is the Savior (45:15) and He sends (48:16) Christ to be born (49:1) a Savior (Luke 2:11). Thus Christ will not only be part of the people of Israel, He is Israel. This means that God is Israel's God, and Christ has become the true people of God. God is now on both sides of the covenant, the divine and the human.
Isaiah now focuses on the ministry of Christ. The 'salvation' Cyrus brought was not the greatest deliverance. Salvation by the Servant is from sin, and this not for Israel only but for the nations of the world. Isaiah 49 has the second of four Servant Songs. In the first and fourth, the Lord speaks of Him. In the second and third songs, the Lord Jesus speaks.
49:1 – Just as the Lord ordered Israel to listen to Him in 48:12, Christ, speaking as God, uses the same "Listen to me". In His earthly ministry, Christ spoke with that same divine authority when He said, "I tell you" (Matthew 5-7). Other prophets spoke for the Lord; Christ spoke as the Lord. The Lord spoke to the ends of the earth in 45:22, and the Servant does the same in v.1. Yet this servant is called (v.1) and sent (48:16); both words show He serves under authority of the Father Who called, the Father Who sent.
Being called before birth sounds like Jeremiah 1:5. The first mention of Christ in the Bible is as the seed of a woman in Genesis 3:15. The first prediction of His coming in Isaiah is that He will be born to a virgin woman (7:14). The Hebrew words in 49:1 are literally "my mother's body." Scripture keeps alive the importance of Christ being born of a woman (Galatians 4:4). The Servant will become a human being.
All four Servant Songs refer to the speech of Christ. In the first, is His gentleness and humility (42:2); in the second, His skill and effectiveness (v.2); in the third, His faithfulness to the message received from His Father (50:4), and in the fourth, His purity with no deceit in His mouth (53:9). All these qualities were evident in the ministry of Christ. He spoke the Word of God with precision and skill to the issue at hand (Matthew 22:47). Both sword and arrow are weapons, but the emphasis here in v.2 is on well-chosen words. The God of Israel speaks in His Son (Hebrews 1:1,2).
Christ is both concealed and revealed. In God's good time He came (Galatians 4:4). The Messiah was promised in the Garden when Adam and Eve fell into sin. Yet the choice of His mother and the Name "Jesus" were withheld till the time of His conception and birth (Luke 1:32; Matthew 1:21). The idea of a polished arrow in a quiver shows readiness; concealment of that arrow indicates that there is a limitation in the details of God's revelation. God has His secrets (Deuteronomy 29:29).
49:3 – His name is now said to be Israel. In Genesis 35:10, Jacob was given that name, which means "prince with God". However, the history of that people was a pattern of unfaithfulness; they had no right to that good name (48:1,2). Jesus is the true vine (John 15:1) in contrast to Israel (5:7). In a similar way He is the true Israel. The gospel is that God has sent a Person worthy of the name.
When God says, "I will be your God," He makes that statement in integrity. When the people of Israel say, "And we will be your people," it was not held to faithfully in any period of their history (48:8). If faithfulness is found on one side of the covenant only, how can a covenant with God be kept from being a farce? The answer is found outside every man on earth but one! God said in 46:12,13 to people "far from righteousness" that He is bringing His righteousness near. In 49:3, the Lord calls the Servant He is sending "Israel", so Christ is shown to be the true people of God. Thus God on His side of the covenant continues as the faithful Lord, but now with Christ on our side of the covenant, finally there is a man faithful to a profession of covenantal allegiance. This man, Jesus Christ, is the One in Whom God displays His splendor. In all of history, there has been one man only who could truthfully say, "I have come to do your will, O God" (Hebrews 10:5-7). This is the Servant Who became a covenant for us.
If only the Bible will teach that we may be represented by Christ and united to Him, then we can be saved and found to be faithful covenantal members in the faithfulness of Someone Else! This, of course, is what the gospel is in relation to justification. Christ represents His people: Hebrews 5:1; 6:19,20; 7:25 – 8:2; 9:24. His people are united to Him: Colossians 3:1-3; Romans 16:7; 1 Corinthians15:18,22; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:6.
Christ is the Lord Who was the Lawgiver on Mount Sinai. He entered human life, the only lawkeeper in history. He who knew no sin, for His people became sin (i.e., assuming the guilt of sin, but not our sinfulness, 2 Corinthians 5:21). Thus He was identified before God as the lawbreaker, our sin being imputed to Him. As the One declared guilty in our place, He was executed on the cross as the unfaithful covenant breaker we are. By His Resurrection, He was declared to be the faithful lawkeeper He was. On Friday He took our place as a sinner; on Sunday He was given His due reward for the righteousness that is truly His. All who are united to Him by faith receive His righteousness to their account, and shall share His resurrection (Ephesians 1:18-20; Philippians 3:7-11).
Lawbreakers, who repent and believe in Jesus, receive His law-keeping status as a gift. The Lord also gives His Holy Spirit to produce law-keeping in us. Eventually at His appearance, salvation will be completed when all who are His will be like Him. Then we will be truly faithful. All this is for God's wayward people, only because God sent Christ to be the true Israel (49:3).
49:3 – God has shown His glory to His people, but Isaiah never says that any individual or Israel reveals the glory of God. With the Servant it is different, for in this unique Person God's splendor is displayed fully (Colossians 1:19; 2:3).
49:4 – This verse reveals the genuine humanness of Christ. As man, He could be thirsty and tired (John 4:4-7); as the Lord, He upholds all things with untiring strength (Hebrews 1:3). As man, He was made like His brothers in every way (apart from sin) and could feel the pull of temptation (Hebrews 2:17,18). Here in v.4, as a man with the limitations of human understanding; with human emotions He feels despondent in His work. What does He see for all His effort? While as a man He did not see all the workings of God, He did trust God to bring success in His labor. Work was assigned to Him, but the results were in the hand of God. So it is with all God's servants. His need was met by a promise from the Lord (vv.5,6).
49:5 – Jesus the man knew He was formed in His mother's womb to be the Lord's Servant. He knew His assignment was a task so impossible it would overwhelm any prophet. It was a difficult assignment the prophets just to speak to rebellious Israel. To be commissioned to bring them back to the Lord, would be beyond any man. But He was not left without resources; God was His strength. And God did not send Him to do something in which God would allow failure. The Holy Spirit (48:16) was empowerment (John 3:34). He was filled with the Spirit to do His work (Luke 4:1,4,14). He did not fulfill a divine assignment in human strength.
49:6 – Operating in the strength of God (Who speaks of His great power in chapter 40), Christ is given an enlarged mission – He is to bring the Gentiles too. Raising up Israel, weighed down in sin, is too large an assignment for others and too small for Him. He will not save each and every soul in Israel, but those God has kept – another way to refer to the chosen remnant. He is not like others who only bring a message; Christ is the message; He is the light to the Gentiles (John 8:12). He is the Savior of nations to the ends of the earth (Psalm 27:1).
The commission given to Christ is one shared with His fellow workers (2 Corinthians 6:1; John 20:21). The Great Commission is not two but one; it is to the Son from the Father, and to the church from the Son. No task that falls on Christ can fail, even when shared with us. The guarantee of its success is the power of God in Christ through the Spirit. In Acts 13:46-48, the apostles quoted Isaiah 49:6 in reference to their work, which had been committed to the Servant Christ. Obviously, His work had become theirs.
49:7 – The words are to the Servant. Christ spoke in vv.1-6; the Father now replies. (In v.6 the Father was quoted by the Servant.) He had expressed His emotional distress in the difficulty He faced; He also expressed faith in the One Who had sent Him (v.4). Now He receives assurance from His faithful Father of astounding success in His work. Two things difficult to fit together are revealed. First, He will be despised and abhorred by the world. Then, second, the world's kings will worship him. (This is close in thought to 52:14,15). Here is a clear word that the Messiah will be rejected (Luke 24:25,26; 1 Peter 1:10,11). In Hebrew the text does not say, "Kings will see you", but, "Kings will see" not until 52:13 will it say what they will see. The nations of 2:1-4 will come to the Lord as a result of the ministry of Christ. It is no surprise that the gospel did not go to all the earth until after the coming of Christ.
49:8,9 – Since the Lord answered Him, this shows He prayed. Frequent prayer was part of His ministry (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:28; John 17:9). What was prayed is implied in the answer given in vv.8,9 and the difficulty expressed in v.4. The answer is of God's help in His mission, the same thing implied in "I will be with you" (Matthew 28:20). The "day of salvation" began in His time on earth (2 Corinthians 6: 2, a verse Paul uses to encourage his readers). We now live in the day of salvation; this text does not speak of an age future to ours. Christ is bringing the Gentiles to obedience now (Romans 15:8-21).
This verse repeats 42:6, "I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people. V.8 is clearer that it is as a man that the Servant will be a covenant. God can be Savior as God (45:21) but He cannot be our priest or representative as God; for Him to do that, God must become man. The one mediator between God and men is the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). To be the mediator of a new covenant for the people (Hebrews 9:15), He must meet covenant demands and obligations for us; we are unable to do that. For our sins, He must "become sin", so as to suffer the law's sanction and curse (death). For our needed obedience, He must obey, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God and receive God's blessing (life) (Galatians 3:10-14; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21). God said He would bring His righteousness near (46:13); in Christ He has done so. Vv.8,9 list blessings that come from being in covenant in Christ: security, enjoyment, liberation and transformation. He does not hand out eternal blessings indiscriminately; they come to those who are united to Him by faith (Romans 6:1-14; 8:17; 1 Corinthians 1:4,5,9,30; 3:21-23; 6:15-17; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22).
Isaiah has written of the exodus from Egypt and the return from Babylon; now he writes in similar terms of yet another return – one under Christ. Just as escape from Babylon was a deliverance under God's ally Cyrus, so the journey back to the Lord from sin is a kind of return. The preceding chapters show that God would save from Babylon (48:20) and also blot out their transgressions (43:25). These parallels have been in this section beginning in chapter 40. In vv.9-11, the metaphors of compassionate provision and protection are used. God will ensure their return by removing barriers. These verses ought to be read as a description of the benefits brought to God's people by Christ in the future Day of Salvation (v.8). The Old Testament presents three great redemptive events: 1) from Egypt, 2) from Babylon and 3) from sin. This paragraph has in mind the third. Those being saved do not come from Egypt only, or from one direction such as Babylon; they come "from the north, some from the west [the opposite direction from Babylon!], some from the region of ________" an uncertain place. Different Bible versions suggest different names for this last unclear location, which some think is a reference to China! The directions in v.12, just like Matthew 8:11, fit only deliverance #3.
49:13 – After the first Servant Song, there is singing (42:10-12). The ransomed enter Zion with singing (51:11); in v.13, singing expresses joy. The mission of Christ was to Israel and the Gentiles, so this song has all heaven and earth singing. The people of v.13 must now include the Gentiles also. The compassion of vv.10 & 13 is the love that has redeemed sinners (1 John 4:10,11,19).
49:14 – 50:3 sets up an introduction for the next Servant Song. After all the good news of 49:1-13, five stanzas follow dealing with Israel's response. All five have some reference to sons or mothers. In the first (vv.14-17), Zion speaks, complaining in unbelief (v.14). The next four stanzas begin with the Lord speaking (vv.18, 22, 25, & 50:1). In the first four, the Lord affirms His care for them. Yet, in spite of all He has done, they do not respond in faith (50:1,2). Zion's complaint is false, but in the last of the five stanzas (50:1-3), God's complaint is true (50:2). A great contrast is being set up, because Christ is the very opposite of unbelief and disobedience. The Servant of the Lord listens obediently to the word of His Father.
49:14-18 – It is important to see who is speaking. It is Zion (v.14), then the Lord (vv.14-20), Zion's children (v.20), and then Zion again (v.21). Israel might believe its own fiction that the Lord had forgotten them, but in order to believe such a thing, they had to overlook and forget all the things the Lord reminds them of in His reply in vv.15-26.
49:15-18 – He begins with a direct rebuttal of their complaint, using the heart of a mother for her child as an analogy of His care for them. A mother could possibly forget her child, but the Lord never. It is as if He had carved their names on His hands to keep them before Him at all times. He is diligent not to forget them. Jerusalem's walls, torn down by their enemy, are on His mind. The love of the Lord will be seen in the return to that place with its walls down; they would build their city again. Later when rebuilding, they would read in Isaiah that God kept those walls in His plans for them. The news is doubly good; they would return and the enemy would be gone. Later when they saw a multitude of their Jewish people back in their land, these words would stand as a testimony that God had remembered them.
49:18-21 – By saying "all of them" (i.e. your sons), readers of Isaiah would be puzzled because the number of those returning from captivity was quite small (Ezra 2), even though the entire nation was called to leave Babylon (48:20). This emphasis on "all" is a clue that Isaiah has in mind more than just those who returned. The nations will be coming (2:1-4), their old enemies Egypt and Assyria among them (19:18-25). Where will they put everyone (54:1-3)? The whole earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord (11:9). The land will be too small (vv.19,20), which means the return has many more people return than those who left! In this way Isaiah looks ahead to the salvation of the nations. The many returning will be worn as jewelry (v.18), showing how happy they will be about what the Lord has done.
49:21 Zion will change what it says about her Lord. Instead of the complaint of v.14, they will ask in amazement where all these children have came from? The text makes clear that this is a supernatural development, because the 'bereaved' are widows and the 'barren' are those who cannot bear children – both words indicate the children will not come by natural means. The "where have they come from?" can only be answered in reference to the Lord Who has done the opposite of forsaking and forgetting. He has multiplied a people who once were ruined and desolate. Once Zion could say, "I was left all alone" later she is unable to account for all the children.
The Lord began His nation with a supernatural birth. Ishmael, the natural son, was not the son of promise. Only when Abraham's body was dead did he father a son through a barren wife (Genesis 16-21; Romans 4:16-25). God was most deliberate to establish at the very beginning of the nation that true entrance into it was by supernatural not ordinary means. Paul again makes this same point in Galatians 4:21-31 when he insists that those who inherit with Abraham are children of promise born by the power of the Spirit, children of Abraham by faith (Galatians 3:26-29). Isaiah teaches that those who come are not the result of the natural growth of a nation. The Babylonian captivity resulted in a great decrease of the nation, while God by bringing in Gentiles increased it. Today those who call the God of Abraham their God greatly outnumber the natural descendents of Abraham. Because Jesus bore the sin of many (53:12), the barren woman with no husband would need a larger tent to hold the newcomers (54:1-3). In 49:21, Zion is bereaved and barren yet amazed at the number of children. In 6:11-13 & 9:6, Isaiah prophesied both the decrease of Israel and the increase of Christ's kingdom. In this way Romans 11:11-32 is anticipated.
49:22,23 – From vast numbers, Isaiah now speaks of another turnaround that Israel could never expect. In 5:26 the Lord called Gentile nations to destroy His rebellious people; Isaiah now says those nations will serve them. This was not fulfilled by Cyrus allowing the Jews to return. This is far more; kings and queens bow before them in gratitude. It is 1 Corinthians 14:25 at work. All the Sovereign Lord has to do is beckon and the Gentiles will obey. When such 'impossibilities' are fulfilled (Luke 18:27), Israel will know that the Lord is God. (I believe that God will use His fulfillment of such promises in their Scriptures to bring massive numbers of Jews to believe in Christ, according to Romans 11:22-32). Someday it will sink in that Gentiles in vast numbers all over the planet consciously call on the God of Israel as the only God. The God they so ardently confess is defined first of all in the Scriptures of the Jews: the Torah, the prophets and the psalms (poetical writings). We pray for God's Spirit to bring this about quickly.
49:24-26 – The theme thus far in the five stanzas has moved from the Lord not forgetting, giving many children, and turning Gentile hearts to serve them. Now this stanza speaks of liberation. God will take captives away from warriors. Their oppressors will destroy themselves.
There is another important element in vv.24,25: What if the captives are held righteously? The Hebrews text of v.24 speaks of a "righteous captor", though not all translations make this clear. God does not set all captives free. He too has captives; His hell is not empty. All of God's people are sinners, so if He sets free guilty captives, He must deal with the matter of His justice. Salvation cannot come by God setting aside justice. On the cross the Lord Jesus was satisfying divine justice, not evading it. This truth appears here in v.25 as "I myself will plead your cause" or take on Himself responsibility for our sin! God does not violate His righteous character when He forgives sinners, because Christ took our sin on Himself. He endured what our sins deserve: the holy consuming fire that descended on Christ on the cross. Thus when the Lord says, "Your sons I will save," it is more than liberation from human enemies; it is liberation from the wrath of God. This stanza says the Lord will save, then ends with four labels to describe Himself: the Lord, your Savior, your Redeemer and the Mighty One of Jacob.
50:1-3 – After 49:15-28 it should be clear the Lord has not forgotten Zion. This stanza will show who has forgotten whom. When the Lord called them, there was no response, no one to answer. 49:15 opens with a question; in vv.1,2 questioning continues. The charge against the Lord was that of forsaking and forgetting. A woman left by her husband is forsaken, and the child neglected is forgotten. To say God has forsaken is to accuse Him of insufficient love to stay with His bride. The Lord answers with affirmations of love in 49:15-26. He did not leave Zion; in fact, when He came (v.2) He found no one to answer, so the charge of forsaking should be reversed.
In the Mosaic law, when a man divorced his wife, he was to give her a certificate of divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). He could never have her back again. V.1 indicates God had given no such certificate, so it is not true that God had forsaken Zion. The charge of forsaking is false. Likewise, there is no record with creditors of His having sold the sons into slavery. So He has not forgotten the children. Zion cannot say God has rejected them. His policy with Zion is reconciliation. Why were they "sold" and the mother "sent away"? It was because of their sin, but that does not mean the Lord would not return when the chastening of the Babylonian captivity is over. His coming to them (v.2) was to have them back. That is God's real attitude towards them. Just as in 5:4, God asks why there is no response – a fitting question after the theme of His faithfulness.
50:2,3 – The Lord raises questions of His power and replies with declarations of His strength at work for them in creation. They are reminiscent of the exodus on dry ground through the Red Sea, and the darkness upon the Egyptians (Exodus 10:21). God used the word "ransom", which implies payment of a price to liberate His people. It is Christ Who would one day give His life as a ransom (Mark 10:45). 50:1-3 tells of a lack of response by God's people; no one answered. But the Lord does have One Who will listen to Him, namely His Servant, obedient to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3). The Servant's ear has been opened (v.5). The Lord has only one such man, and it is through that man and His attentive obedience that we are saved.
The other side of this extended contrast depicts Christ, the true Israel (49:3), as the opposite of Israel's unbelief and disobedience. Special emphasis is made in the third Servant Song on how diligently the Servant of the Lord listens to the word of His Father, a prerequisite for anyone who would be a servant. This song will also expand on 49:7. The Lord Jesus is going to suffer greatly. Here, Christ is the One speaking. He listens and obeys, faithfully referring to His Father as the His Sovereign Lord four times. So in a great trial at the hands of wicked men, the Lord Jesus in submission to the Word of the Lord, offered Himself, all the while trusting the One Who would prove to be His Vindicator.
50:4 – Christ is the Prophet, Priest, and King of His people. Reference in v.4 to His tongue and the words He would speak reveal His role as prophet. Since He speaks only what He hears, it is His listening that is central to this song. His tongue is instructed, taught in a process of daily discipline, for the Lord woke Him to listen every morning. In the Gospel of John, the Lord repeated this theme: He learned from His Father (John 15:15) teaching what was not His own (John 7:16), but belonged to the Father Who sent Him (John 14:24). Speech shows up in all four Servant Songs. His words are: gentle in #1 (42:2); incisive in #2 (49:2); instructed in #3 (50:4) and pure in #4 (53:9). The tongue that benefits others comes from the receptive ear that listens to God's Word.
50:5,6 – His listening was far more than receiving information. Christ obeyed when sent on a difficult mission. He did not rebel; His listening is obedient. The Son received the word from the Father, Who loved the world and would give His Son. From such a mission the Servant did not draw back or turn away. He deliberately offered His back, and cheeks and face to His tormentors in obedience to His Sovereign Lord. He not only did not resist (53:7), He died on the cross not because He was captured, but because He came to do His Father's will, offering His body as a sacrifice (Hebrews 10:5-14).
50:6 – Three descriptions of His suffering are given. 1) The beaten back is a flogging ordinarily done to criminals. This is suggestive of the truth that Jesus would be treated as a guilty criminal under Pilate, though Pilate knew the charge was false (Matthew 27:23,24). 2) Pulling the beard is an act of torture. 3) Mocking and spitting are acts of humiliation. Of these, the New Testament reports the flogging, mocking, and spitting. It never mentions Jesus' beard but does show that His death included extreme pain. Luke 18:31-33: Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."
50:7 – The confidence of the Lord Jesus was that what He would endure at the cross was not final. His suffering would be followed by glory (1 Peter 1:11). This is similar to the prediction of Christ's sufferings in Psalm 22:1-21, followed by vindication and joy in vv. 22-31. His plea on the cross was to the Father Who sent Him there (22:1). His help was from the same Lord in Psalm 22:24. The three things mentioned in v.6 are repeated in some form in v.7: the disgrace will end; the face from which they pull His beard is the same face He set in resolute obedience to go to the cross (Luke 9:51). For the criminality implied by flogging, He waits for His Father to vindicate Him of all charges.
The song emphasizes the forensic aspect of Christ's death. Isaiah 53 also connects His death with sin, but always the sin of others – not His. The mistaken view of Him was that He was smitten by God and deserved to be (53:4). He was assigned a grave with the wicked. His death as a criminal had no indictment of His personal righteousness. By the resurrection of Christ, God vindicated His claim that He was the Son of God (Romans 1:4) – this declaration of Jesus' right to life as a righteous man was done through the Spirit of holiness. Wicked men put Him to death, but God, in approval of Him, raised Him from the dead (Acts 2:22-24). Throughout the Lord's time of humiliation, many charges were made against Him verbally. The resurrection is God's reply in action and answers them all forever. His accusers will vanish like a moth-eaten garment.
The Lord Jesus was vindicated in His own personal righteousness. The gospel is that we are justified in that same righteousness – His, never ours. In justification we are given "the gift of righteousness" (Romans 5:17), a gift based entirely on His obedience (Romans 5:19), and imputed to the one who believes in Christ (Romans 4:24). The Christian's only vindication, relieving him of the accusation of sins actually committed, is Christ. For this reason no one can bring any charge against God's elect. When God justifies, He cannot turn around and do the opposite, which is to condemn. Any attempt to charge the justified would have to be made in the same court in which the accused sinner has already been declared not guilty! Nor will Christ condemn. How could He? He is the One Who died to move such charges from His people to Himself! And to all this we must add that He still intercedes for them in heaven, turning away all accusations against them (Romans 8:31-39). His appeal, based on His substitutionary death, always prevails.
The Bible teaches the justification of Christ in His obedience in Isaiah 50, One who always listened to His Father and obeyed. It also teaches the justification of all represented by Jesus, who are declared righteous by God on the basis of the obedience found in Jesus' conduct. Christ cannot be condemned for sin since He had none, and believers cannot be condemned for theirs because Christ was condemned for them when the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all (53:6).
50:10,11 – This section ends with an exhortation. Christ has been the obedient Servant. Now He is presented as the model to follow in similar trials. God's people may have no natural light to help them, and they like Christ in His humiliation on earth must trust the word of the Lord. Fear, obey, trust, and rely all go together. Others walk in their own wisdom, i.e., their own light. In doing so, they reject the Word of God; in the end they lie down in torment, a reward for their rebellion, a reward received from the hand of the Lord. Isaiah has shown we are saved by the work of Christ. In this paragraph, he shows that the obedience of Christ is also the model (1 Peter 2:21) for living in this present evil age (Galatians 1:4).
In the second and third Servant Songs, Isaiah opens the suffering of Christ. The Holy Spirit has reserved for the last Servant Song (52:13-53:12) the most comprehensive explanation of the cross in the Old Testament.
Israel apart from Christ:
Holy Covenant GodSinful covenant people
Christ as Israel:
Holy Covenant GodHoly Covenant Man!
Believers in Christ in this life:
Holy Covenant GodSinful saints, yet righteous in Christ
Believers at the coming of Christ:
Holy Covenant GodRighteous, resurrected humans walking with God in perfect holiness
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