Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Messiah's Renewal (part 1 of 2)

A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s root stock, a bud will sprout from His roots. – Isaiah 11:1  (NET)

With these words, it seems that Isaiah is speaking of the messiah of Israel.  Because Messiah is, first and foremost, a kingly term, he understandably speaks of the King in the line of David, the Son of God, the Son of Man, that will be sent forth to lead the covenant God’s people from out of the exile of their current or coming situation of foreign oppression.  As was the case when Israel had suffered and groaned under the boot of Egypt, this will be accomplished, according to Isaiah’s viewpoint, via a new exodus, into a new promised land. 

It can be quite easily gleaned from the scope of Isaiah’s vision, that the promised land is a renewed creation, in which Israel’s messiah reigns as King and Lord of all.  Those that look to Jesus as the Messiah believe that the renewed creation of Isaiah’s work was inaugurated at the Resurrection of Jesus, with His establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth, with a renewed Israel (a people under the covenant of belief in Jesus) as the people of God that constitute and serve to establish and expand His kingdom by the operation, through them, of the glorious power of the Creator God’s Holy Spirit.

As it is written of the messiah (Israel’s king) that “The Lord’s Spirit will rest on Him” (11:2a), so it is to be said of all those in union with Jesus as Messiah (confessing allegiance to His kingship).  That Spirit is said to be “a spirit that gives extraordinary wisdom” (11:2b), and just as it can certainly be understood to have fallen upon and infused Jesus as He walked the earth, so it shall infuse those who believe in Him, that they might also become, like Jesus, the place at which heaven and earth come together and overlap. 

According to Isaiah, the Spirit is one “that provides the ability to execute plans” (11:2c).  Advancing forward from Isaiah again, the Creator God executed His saving plan for the world through His Messiah, and it is through that Spirit at work in His covenant people that the Creator God executes His plans for the expansion of His kingdom, which this accomplished through the preaching and doing of the Gospel (Jesus is Lord). 

By that Spirit---which the earliest believes confirm is the same Spirit that raised up Christ from the dead---the Creator God works through His people to confront the evil to be found in this world, extending His mercy, grace, love, and saving faithfulness to a people and a creation that is beset by pains and sorrows (groaning, like the people of God, in hopes of an exodus).  By that Spirit, the Creator God sends forth His people as ambassadors for His Christ, making royal declarations on behalf of the world’s true King (evangelism). 

Yes, to use Isaiah’s words, this God executes His plans.  Thus, because Jesus is a sovereign ruler, the Spirit that must be recognized to have worked through Him to produce His absolute loyalty to the will of the Father is the same Spirit “that produces absolute loyalty to the Lord” (11:2d) that was to be the mark of the messiah.  Of course, this only matters if Jesus was raised up from the dead and indeed lives forevermore. 

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