Isaiah is one of those books that seems like you are drinking from an oncoming tidal wave. It is big, it is deep, it is prophetic, and it is intimidating. We have often used parts of it to solidify our doctrine, taking bits and pieces in order to see into the future of things like the Sabbath. And while this has given us a modicum of understanding, there is a hope with this series that we can see the work of God in four movements. The key words to these texts are Judgement, Promise, Incarnation, and Salvation, in that order.
Now, speaking of order, you will notice we are working from Isaiah 66 backwards to Isaiah 53, and there is a reason for this. We want to see how Isaiah holds together. It was a book that took a long time to write, yet its themes and coherence holds together through it all. It speaks of Jesus, it speaks of the end, and it speaks of the overwhelming “God with us” in order forecast that a better time, a better experience, and a more tangible God is coming.
Here are the four themes:
Isaiah 66: Judgement. How is it that judgement is a good thing? How are these words that can seem so harsh be words that are actually comforting to those who are in Christ Jesus?
Isaiah 63:1-6: Promise. God has never been shy about making promises and keeping them. How are his promises not only new everyday, but the thing that leads us to a better ability to lean into what God is doing.
Isaiah 59:14-60:1: Incarnation. This is the Old Testament promise of Incarnation, and the promise of a continued counselor. God with us becomes a theme that runs through today, from the enfleshment of God to the giving of the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 53: Salvation.The suffering Messiah and the clear understanding of what kind of Savior was coming. To look at these words through the cross of Jesus explodes them into being.
We hope that this series will illuminate scripture, grow your experience with God, and build a place in your heart for these words that were spoke so long ago over so many years.
Timothy J. Gillespie