There is one quality that all human beings desire in a friend: faithfulness. Someone who will never leave us, never deny us, never forsake us. The criteria that Jesus will use in determining who will rule with Him during His 1,000 year reign upon the earth, is faithfulness.
(Jesus speaking) His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Matthew 25:23
When Isaiah was describing the character of the Messiah who would be afflicted with all the suffering of those He died to save, he said that this Savior would be faithful and never leave.
Isaiah 63:8-9 For He said, “Surely they are My people, Children who will not lie.” So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; And He bore them and carried them All the days of old.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Matthew 4:24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.
Luke 2:11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Matthew 28:20 “…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Hebrews 13:5 …For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 7:2426 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us…
A Faithful Friend
We have a wonderful Savior who is also our Great High Priest. He ever lives to make intercession for us before the Father. His current role is that of a mighty intercessor who is actively involved in the personal lives of everyone who is trusting in Him.
Those who follow Jesus have a unique relationship with Him. Even in the most painful and difficult moments of life, Jesus is with us in all our distress. When the Lord suffered so greatly, as He was scourged and crucified, Isaiah wrote that it was for all of our afflictions that He was afflicted. It was by His suffering for us, that the Lord was able to remove our suffering, forever. This will ultimately be accomplished at His return for His church at the Rapture; when we are all taken from this world to be with Him forever. Until that day, Jesus is here with us in all our present suffering.
At the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus contemplated the tremendous cost that would be involved if He would continue. He gazed intently into the great pain and suffering that would be required of Him; as well as the horrific separation from the Father that would result as He became sin for us. All of these unimaginable difficulties were ahead for Jesus if He would make His life an offering for our sins. As Jesus approached the cross, He would not withdraw Himself, nor seek to diminish any of the suffering that was demanded by our need for redemption:
…when He was beaten 39 times with the scourge. When they tore the flesh from His body and thrust four-inch Judean thorns into His skull. As the Roman soldiers punched Him repeatedly in His face. When these men tore out His beard in handfuls…
In all these terrible events, Jesus was thinking of you and those moments of your life when you would also suffer. Jesus can identify with everything that you and I will go through in our life, because He was also tempted in all things.
Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Notice in this prophecy of Isaiah, that he mentions; “the Angel (capitalized) of His Presence that saved them.” This is indicative that the Angel was the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, who is so often seen in the Old Testament—described as The Angel of the Lord.
The Angel of the Lord was frequently near those, in the Old Testament, who were afflicted and in great distress or had been cast out and isolated from the world.
Hagar, when she was cast out of Abraham’s house.
Genesis 16:7 Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.
Abraham, when he was in the greatest testing of his life.
Genesis 22:11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.”
Gideon, when he was frightened and discouraged.
Judges 6:11-12 Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Israel, promised by the Lord that He would never break His covenant with their nation.
Judges 2:1 Then the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you.’ ”
This prophecy of the Messiah from Isaiah 63:8-9 is a wonderful reminder of how great our Savior is—who will never leave us and who understands all our trials and suffering, while He abides with us forever.