Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Christ the Chosen Servant, God's Delight - Isaiah 42

"Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
(vs 1)

These verses paint a beautiful portrait of Christ the Messiah. Several things jump out at me this morning.

1) Christ is the Great Servant. "Behold, My Servant...."
The second person of the Trinity left the Father's side, became a man (yet without sin) in order to secure our redemption. "...Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Ph 2:6-8).

Has anyone ever served as Christ has? He served His Father willingly. He served us sacrifically. And if Christ has served us in so great a way, should we not serve Him? Philippians tells us to "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus...." (vs 5ff). A servant is not above his master, and our Master has set a grand example that we should follow in His footsteps. Are we? Am I?
  • "Serve the LORD with gladness." (Ps 100:2)

  • "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." (Gal 5:13)

2) Christ is chosen of God as the only One who could propitiate for us. "My chosen One...."

None other could do this remarkable work of redemption. None but God could live a sinless life and therefore die an atoning death. None but Christ, the eternal and omnipotent One could conquer the grave. None but Jesus could do helpless sinners good by being both just and the Justifier. "None other Lamb, none other name, none other hope in heav'n or earth or sea, none other hiding place from guilt and shame, none beside thee!" (Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894)
Christ was commissioned for this task for He alone could accomplish this task. He alone is the unblemished Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). He alone is the Great High Priest who offers Himself as the atoning sacrifice.

  • "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb 9:11-14)

  • "Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." (1 Pe 1:18-19)

3) God the Father delights in God the Son. "My chosen One in whom My soul delights."
Through the gospel accounts, we hear the voice of the Father clearly proclaim this truth at Christ's baptism - "Thou art My beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased." God delights in His Son - and should we not as well? Is not Christ the treasure of our souls, the apple of our eyes, and the delight of our hearts? If not, then do we truly know Him for who He is? If not, then what counterfeit gods are we delighting in above Him?

  • "Please receive instruction from His mouth, and establish His words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored; if you remove unrighteousness far from your tent, and place your gold in the dust, and the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks, then the Almighty will be your gold and choice silver to you. For then you will delight in the Almighty and lift up your face to God." (Job 22:22-25)

  • "Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Ps 37:3)

4) This Chosen Servant who is the delight of His Father is well equipped for the task that lies before Him. "I have put My Spirit upon Him." God always equips those He calls. Of course Christ, our elder brother, by His very nature was the most equipped of all servants - He had the Spirit "without measure" (John 3:34). Yet how comforting to know that the same Spirit which indwelled Christ indwells us as His adopted siblings.

  • "And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Ro 5:5)

  • "Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor 3:16)

  • "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit whois in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." (1 Cor 6:19-20)

  • "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and annointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge." (2 Cor 1:22)

  • "Now He who prepared us for this very pupose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge." (2 Cor 5:5)

As Christians we are equipped with the same Spirit that was put upon Christ. That Spirit enables us to serve God in whatever tasks He has chosen for us.

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another.... Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these of which I forewarn you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." (Galatians 5:16-24)

5) Christ will accomplish His task. "He will bring forth justice to the nations."

This Chosen Servant, the One in whom the Father's soul delights, the One who is completely well-equipped for the task will accomplish the task for which He was sent. He will redeem His people. He will deal justly and righteously with those that mock at His mercy. He will right all wrongs. He will straighten all that is crooked. He will make beautiful all that which our sin has made ugly. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?" (Gen 18:25)

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

In His glorious grace,


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