Lesson 136:

Isaiah 53:11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied

Jesus knew that his death and burial would not be the end of his life. On the third day [I] will be raised (Matthew 20:19), he said. The disciples did not expect the crucifixion or the resurrection, but Jesus expected both. And when it was over, he was satisfied. Jesus accomplished his mission, and has enjoyed the undying love of his people ever since.

Isaiah 53:12 For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors

One of our greatest needs as sinners, is for someone who is close to God to pray for us. Even though we sin every day, God will never reject us, because Jesus intercedes for us. He makes sure that his saving work will always be applied. [H]e is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:25), says Hebrews.

Likewise, Christ Jesus . . . is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (Romans 8:34), wrote Paul. The reason God does not turn away from us, and that we don’t turn away from God, is because Jesus never stops interceding for us. The prophet Isaiah saw this hundreds of years in advance. 

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Isaiah 61:1-2 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God.

When Jesus preached at Nazareth, he applied these words to himself (Luke 4:16-20), with one glaring omission. He did not mention the day of vengeance of our God, since that applies to his second coming, not to his first coming. Biblical prophecies are often compressed to include more than one fulfillment. This has been called prophetic compression.

If you view a mountain range from a distance, it will appear to be a single mountain. But there are often two mountains with a large valley between them. Sometimes the prophets describe future events as one, when there are actually two fulfillments, separated by a valley of time. This is the case with the first and second coming of Christ. 

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Isaiah 62:5 [A]s a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

Marriage is so important to the story of the Bible, that it opens and closes with a wedding. The first was in the Garden of Eden, where God took a rib from Adam’s side, and made him a wife (Genesis 2:21-22). Adam was so delighted that he burst into poetry. This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man (Genesis 2:21-23). 

Sadly, the honeymoon did not last forever. When sin entered the picture, Adam turned on his wife, and put the blame on her. The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it (Genesis 3:12), he said.

The New Testament refers to the church as the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25, Revelation 19:7), and to Jesus as the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). He is not the first Adam who blamed his bride, but the last Adam who died for his bride—and whose wedding day is coming. For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7), wrote John.

We become Christians the same way that we get married—by saying yesYes, Lord, I believe you died on the cross for my sins, and I accept your invitation to live with you forever. The moment we say Yes to Christ we become eternally his, and his kingdom becomes our everlasting home. 

Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.

God’s people suffer like everyone else, but also receive his tender comfort. God is so tender, fact, that he compares himself to a mother. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you, he says. A mother’s hug and kiss have made everything better for children throughout the ages.

But children are not the only ones who need to be comforted. Life can be so tough, and the wounds so deep, that only God is sufficient for the pain. So later we read that he is the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), wrote Paul.

A preacher was thrown into a cell beneath a slaughter house, where blood dripped all around. Shrieks of death filled the air, mingled with the foulest smells. But the presence of God was so dear to him, that it seemed like the Garden of Eden. Whenever we go through difficult times we should turn to the God who comforts us.

Reflection and Review
Why do we need Jesus to pray for us?
What is prophetic compression?
What are the first and last weddings in the Bible?