|He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. 17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. (Isaiah59:16-17)|
This is a goosebump chapter for me. It starts with an assurance that God's arm is not too short to save, but then plunges into the extent to which humanity is drowning in its brokenness. Just look at the opening verses of the chapter:
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear...
Like the blind we grope along the wall,
feeling our way like men without eyes.
At midday we stumble as if it were twilight;
among the strong, we are like the dead. (Isaiah 59:2 & 10)
To summarise verses 2-15: Our sins separate us from God, justice is driven back, truth is nowhere to be found and those who strive for righteous are victimised.
But then Isaiah reveals a staggering glimpse into God's heart: When He saw our predicament God was profoundly moved!
- He was appalled at our predicament.
- He set out to work salvation for us with His own arm.
- His righteousness became the sacrifice that paid for us
- Our salvation was the concern that would take Him to the cross
- He was determined to break Satan's power
- And He wrapped Himself in zeal.
Jesus wasn't resigned to His fate in a Oh-well-I-suppose-I-had-better-save-these-people way. No! He was appalled at where our brokenness takes us, and He rolled up His sleeves to get stuck into saving us. He passionately and zealously offered up His very best - even His righteousness (He carried the guilt of our sin) - so that we might be saved.
- Look at Him route-marching to Jerusalem (Mark10:32)
- See Him submit to the Father's will in Gethsemane (Luke22:42)
- See Him forgive us on the cross.(Luke23:34)
(This is a re-working of an older dev...
It also brings us to the end of our series on Isaiah. We will start a new series next week...)