Meditations On The Messiah - Messiah Our Reconciliation

by Ray Hawkins


As we read Isaiah chapter 1:10-20 we find these words: "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

What condescension! What consideration! The Creator inviting His creation to enter into dialogue with Him! The Sovereign of the universe is willing to discuss certain matters with His subjects! The Judge of the whole world comes from the 'bench' to give a sympathetic hearing to the accused!

How is it possible for the Eternal Lord to do such a thing? Where is it possible for Him and rebellious mankind to stand together without loss of credibility on His part or onrush of panic on ours? It is not on any piece of earthly sod, nor on any hallowed cloud. Rather it is within the shadow of the Messiah. Here alone is sacred ground on which God can 'stand'. Here alone is a refuge for repentant rebels.

The prophet Isaiah is able to portray God as presenting His reasons for His actions. It is as though He wants His hearers to understand what He is doing so that vain and senseless chatter will be stopped.

As He unfolds His mind to them about coming events upon the nations and upon the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in particular, it is as though He invites a refutation of His plans. And because no sound can be uttered to accuse the Lord of foul play or hasty treatment we can be sure of the rightness of His actions.

In any case such silence would offer no comfort at all to those who long for forgiveness and reconciliation. After all, what can man plead on his own behalf?

This is where the security of the shadow of Messiah begins to reveal itself. For whilst the Eternal God states His case knowing that no individual and no nation can plead innocence He also reveals an answer to man's dilemma.

As we read Isaiah we discover how God offers light to the dwellers in darkness. We discover the warmth of mercy that seeks to melt the icebergs of selfishness and self-destruction that entomb men and women. The scars and bruises inflicted by sin, stupidity and self-improvement programmes can be covered by Messiah's garments.

And whilst all this is offered to the responsive person free, yet it is not without cost. Isaiah outlines the enormous cost, the price of our rebellion paid by the suffering Servant, and we read about it (chapter 53) for it is by His stripes that we are healed. This is why we can take heart. This is why a new beginning can take place.

The book of Isaiah is permeated with the fragrance of the Messiah. We can discover His character and His credentials. We can learn what He will be and what He will do. The outline is given just awaiting the fulfilment by the right one in God's time. God gave Isaiah the privilege of portraying the Messiah so that men could place their hope and faith in Him even before He arrived on the scene.

As we grasp the awesomeness of what God has done it makes us appreciate what the prophet felt like when he wrote: " ... I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs ... and they were calling to one another: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.'

"'Woe to me! I cried. 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty'." (6:1-3,5)

He was overwhelmed and distraught by his own unworthiness. But the compassion of the Eternal lifted him up and cleansed him, a picture of what the Messiah achieves as He as it were stands between and takes the hand of God and the hand of man and joins them together with His own hand overlapping both. He is our reconciliation.

My desire is towards You, Lord. I would be afraid to begin to reason with You for I have no defence. Nor do I have wherewith to accuse You. But in the silence of a humble and obedient heart I would stand in the shadow of the Messiah and ask that You would accept Him as my substitute and reconciliation.