￼There is an abiding question that every person who reads this book will have: “why did Jesus do this for me?” It is difficult to comprehend why someone as beautiful, perfect, and Holy, would come to earth and allow evil men to butcher Him. I have often pondered this question and I have never moved past the place where I simply had to accept that Jesus did this, because He could do nothing else.
There is a Being who is the very embodiment of what love is; in fact, love is defined by who He is. When the Lord saw us in our hopeless situation here on earth; the evil, suffering, sickness, and death that ruins our lives, He was compelled to act for us. His love was so great that He was willing to lay aside His glory and power as God, to humble himself and die for us. God could not bear that any one of us would have to stand at the place of judgment for our sins, so He stood there for us.
Isaiah writes that the Messiah will look forward and see those whom He shall redeem by His sacrifice.
Isaiah 53:10c Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
New Testament Fulfillment:
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.
Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Seeing the Results of His Sacrifice
When Jesus was contemplating the cost of the Cross and the depth of sin that He would partake of, He also looked ahead and saw all those who would believe and commit their lives to Him. It was this joy that was ahead that Jesus looked to, not only as He moved towards the Cross, but even before He spoke the universe into existence.
…in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began. Titus 1:2
As I am writing at this particular point in the book, I have drifted from my writing to thoughts of Jesus. I began this morning having my breakfast at a popular restaurant here in Scottsdale, Arizona. As I wrote these words, I began to imagine the excitement that the Lord must be feeling at this time, knowing that He is about to return to earth to remove His bride and bring to a conclusion, all the events that these prophecies describe.
We all understand the anticipation that comes from knowing that a particularly enjoyable event is about to happen. As the day draws near, our joy is greatly magnified. When the moment finally arrives, we can hardly wait to rise in the morning and experience all that we are hoping for. On many occasions during this life, our anticipation is rarely met by the reality of the event. Seldom do our expectations find satisfaction. In fact, it is a plague of our life that we are seldom satisfied by this world.
Imagine knowing all things; possessing the ability to see every event that will transpire during the course of all human life here on the earth. Understanding that the creatures that you are going to bring into being with the wonderful privilege of choice, will, in large numbers; choose not to love you or receive you. In order for this creation to become all that you had planned, you will have to depart your home in heaven, lay aside your rights and privileges as God, and allow the very people you have created; to torture, humiliate, and pierce your body on a cruel Roman cross.
When this hard work of redemption is accomplished, you must wait before you can complete the salvation you came to make possible. After more than 2,000 years and through much patience and long-suffering, you can finally return to earth at an appointed time and take your loved-ones back to heaven.
Isaiah writes: …He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days…
Isaiah saw the Joy of the Messiah as He looked ahead to behold all those who would be saved by Him. He saw the great gap in time, before His first and second appearances on earth, when He would return from heaven to complete all redemption.
The fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy is found in Hebrews 12:2.
“…for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…”
Jesus saw all the events of His suffering and death; long before He came to earth to die for us. It was this joy that was set before Him, that allowed Him to endure the cross.
We will all have our moments of trials that will require our endurance while we wait for the return of our Lord. There will be many difficulties, hurts, sorrows, and losses during this time. If we hold steadfast and remain immovable in our constant trust of Jesus, then when He appears, we will rise to meet Him at the Rapture. As Jesus endured the cross, He looked forward to the time when every trial would be over and our time here on earth would be at an end. Because Jesus endured, we must also endure. Because Jesus trusted in the Father to sustain Him and raise Him from the dead on the third day; we must also count on Him to sustain us until He comes again. Jesus promised to take care of all our needs and keep us, as we make our commitment to Him, certain.
If we should die before Jesus returns for us at the Rapture, we must trust that the Father will also raise us from the dead when the Lord arrives and gives to us the glorious new and eternal body that He promised all those who love Him and eagerly await His return.
Jesus saw each one of us from the cross and He endured the suffering that was required so that we might never have to endure the wrath of God against our sins. He is waiting in heaven, for the final number of those who will believe in Him. When this company is finally complete, He will come again and take everyone who loves Him and is waiting for His return, back to heaven. On that day, our redemption will be complete and the number of those who can be saved, will be accomplished. Until that time, we patiently wait for the return of our wonderful Lord.
Come quickly Lord Jesus!
Isaiah continues his prophecy of the Messiah’s offering of His life for us, and the fact that His plan of salvation will prosper and be successful.
Isaiah 53:10d Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
New Testament Fulfillment:
John 17:1-5 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
The Messiah Will Succeed
To those who witnessed the arrest, trial, and condemnation of Jesus Christ in dying on the Cross, His life must have appeared to be a tremendous failure. In the eternal realm, where the plan of Salvation was conceived—before the foundation of the world, the course that Jesus followed, was determined from eternity. All that the Lord had planned for this great salvation was a complete success. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would prosper, and Jesus fulfilled this prophecy by completing all the work of the Messiah to the very letter.
The revelation that the Messiah would die, was a hard truth to accept for the men who had been following Jesus for the past three and one half years. They had understandably grown very close to the Lord and had obviously fallen in love with Him. None of us would like to think that someone whom we love that much would be taken away from us by death. People who have had a loved one that dies, are familiar with the biting pain and inconsolable sorrow that is felt when someone who is a big part our life, is suddenly gone.
When Jesus told the disciples that He was going to Jerusalem and while there He would be arrested and crucified, there was immediate opposition to His words.
Matthew 16:21-23 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 23 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Just prior to this statement by Jesus, Peter had declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus congratulated Him on hearing the voice of the Father who had spoken this truth to Peter by the Holy Spirit. At Jesus’ announcement that He is about to die, Peter is overwhelmed with emotion: Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You! The Lord informs Peter that his plans and thoughts are not those of the Father. God has a purpose for our lives, and our place is to accept whatever happens and to continue in our trust, regardless of the suffering or loss.
In our life, there will be many times when we will not really understand the plans of God at a particular moment. As we experience loss, hurt, abandonment, betrayal, sickness, financial stress, or terrible conflicts in our relationships, we will ask: “How is this your plan for me, Lord?” Often we may question whether God really loves us when He allows so much pain and suffering to flood our life.
When these moments arrive, as they must for every person, we should think on Jesus and remind ourselves how much He suffered for us. Jesus resisted sin and temptation to the point where He sweat great drops of blood. See the chapter: Crucified, for greater understanding of this event.
We should look back to the cross; that moment when Jesus demonstrated, in real, practical terms; how far the love of God will go in meeting our needs. The fact that Jesus was willing to leave heaven, live as a man, allow evil men to put Him to death—all to make our redemption possible; should remind us that God does love us. On that final day of Jesus’ life, He gave all that He had; His very life, to demonstrate once and for all, that God really does love us.
Hebrews 12:2-4 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. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah’s plan for our salvation will prosper and be successful. Though Jesus’ crucifixion must have seemed, at that time, like a terrible failure; in reality, He accomplished a tremendous victory. Jesus’ death on the cross, forever defeated sin and death and destroyed the works of the devil.
The Messiah’s future success
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and defined when this plan of salvation will meet its ultimate fulfillment: At the return of Jesus for His church.
1 Corinthians 15:51-57 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Every person who loves the Lord and is waiting for His return, will receive a new and eternal body, at His return. The people who have died, will receive their eternal bodies—just ahead of those who are alive. Those who are alive will experience an immediate transformation of their current body—into a new and eternal body. All of us will rise together and meet Jesus in the outer atmosphere of the earth, when He returns for His church. See the chapter: Coming For His Church, for a full description of this event.
Paul said that when we receive our eternal bodies, all the plans of God through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, will be fulfilled. Death will be swallowed up and sin will no longer rule over our lives.
Difficulties will come
As you and I live-out the final days of our life here on the earth, we must remember that Jesus told us that we would all experience tribulation or trouble in this world. He also said that we should be of good cheer because He has overcome this world.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The plan of Salvation that God had determined for the Messiah, was completed by Jesus, just as Isaiah predicted in his prophecy.