Jerusalem Will Be Saved
1Wake up, wake up, Jerusalem!
Be beautiful again,
holy city of Jerusalem.
The people who do not worship God and who are not pure
will not enter you again.
2Jerusalem, you once were a prisoner.
Now shake off the dust and stand up.
Jerusalem, you once were a prisoner.
Now free yourself from the chains around your neck.
3This is what the LORD says:
“You were not sold for a price,
so you will be saved without cost.”
4This is what the Lord GOD says:
“First my people went down to Egypt to live.
Later Assyria made them slaves.
5“Now see what has happened,” says the LORD.
“Another nation has taken away my people for nothing.
This nation who rules them makes fun of me,” says the LORD.
“All day long they speak against me.
6This has happened so my people will know who I am,
and so, on that future day, they will know
that I am the one speaking to them.
It will really be me.”
7How beautiful is the person
who comes over the mountains to bring good news,
who announces peace
and brings good news,
who announces salvation
and says to Jerusalem,
“Your God is King.”
8Listen! Your guards are shouting.
They are all shouting for joy!
They all will see with their own eyes
when the LORD returns to Jerusalem.
9Jerusalem, your buildings are destroyed now,
but shout and rejoice together,
because the LORD has comforted his people.
He has saved Jerusalem.
10The LORD will show his holy power
to all the nations.
Then everyone on earth
will see the salvation of our God.
11You people, leave, leave; get out of Babylon!
Touch nothing that is unclean.
You men who carry the LORD’S things used in worship,
leave there and make yourselves pure.
12You will not be forced to leave Babylon quickly;
you will not be forced to run away,
because the LORD will go before you,
and the God of Israel will guard you from behind.
The Lord’s Suffering Servant
13The LORD says, “See, my servant will act wisely.
People will greatly honor and respect him.
14Many people were shocked when they saw him.
His appearance was so changed he did not look like a man;
his form was changed so much they could barely tell he was human.
15But now he will surprise many nations.
Kings will be amazed and shut their mouths.
They will see things they had not been told about him,
and they will understand things they had not heard.”
The Holy Bible, New Century Version
Isaiah prophesied about the coming of the Messiah, the Suffering Servant-Jesus Christ. He referred to the Servant's lowly existence, agonizing death, and honorable purpose.
We needed Christ to die for our sins and provide forgiveness because we're not going to find it any other way.
We humans want to do things our way. Forget the easy way. Forget the common way. Forget the best way. Forget God's way. We want to do things our way.
And, according to the Bible, that's precisely our problem. "We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way" (Isaiah 53:6).
You wouldn't think sheep would be obstinate. Of all God's animals, the sheep is the least able to take care of himself.
Sheep are dumb! Have you ever met a sheep trainer? Ever seen sheep tricks? Know anyone who has taught his sheep to roll over? Ever witnessed a circus sideshow featuring "Mazadon and his jumping sheep"? No. Sheep are just too dumb.
And defenseless. They have no fangs or claws. They can't bite you or outrun you. That's why you never see sheep as team mascots. We've heard of the St. Louis Rams and the Chicago Bulls and the Seattle Seahawks, but the New York Lambs? Who wants to be a lamb? You couldn't even stir up a decent yell for the cheerleaders.
We are the sheep.
We don't make a peep. Victory is yours to keep.
But count us if you want to sleep...
Still uncomfortable with being considered a sheep? Will you humor me and take a simple quiz? See if you succeed in self-reliance. Raise your hand if any of the following describe you.
You can control your moods. You're never grumpy or sullen. You can't relate to Jekyll and Hyde. You're always upbeat and upright. Does that describe you? No? Well, let's try another.
You are at peace with everyone. Every relationship as sweet as fudge. Even your old flames speak highly of you. Love all and are loved by all. Is that you? If not, how about this description?
You have no fears. Call you the Teflon toughie. Wall Street plummets-no problem. Heart condition discovered-yawn. World War III starts-what's for dinner? Does this describe you?
You need no forgiveness.
Never made a mistake. As square as a game of checkers. As clean as grandma's kitchen. Never cheated, never lied, never lied about cheating. Is that you? No?
Let's evaluate this. You can't control your moods. A few of your relationships are shaky. You have fears and faults. Hmmm. Do you really want to hang on to your chest of self-reliance? Sounds to me as if you could use a shepherd. (From Traveling Light by Max Lucado)
Do you think you can make it through life by yourself-even as a Christian? It may be time to check your self-sufficiency at the door. Confess your natural desire to do things your way and ask God to give you a spirit of dependence upon him.
Trusting in God-Psalm 20:7; Proverbs 3:5; 16:20: Romans 4:5; 10:11; 1 Peter 2:6.