Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jesus! There's Something About That Name!


Tuesday in Holy Week
Isaiah 49:1-7 (NRSV)

The servant brings salvation to earth's ends

Listen to me, O coastlands,
pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
while I was in my mother's womb he named me.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, "You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
But I said, "I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
and my reward with my God."

And now the Lord says,
who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength -
he says,
"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
the slave of rulers,
"Kings shall see and stand up,
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."


I just love Isaiah’s prophecy regarding Jesus found in today’s scripture passage! My favorite lines are, “"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

Oh, what wonderful GOOD NEWS!

See, God does—and did—have a special and unique relationship with Israel. All throughout the “Old Testament” God walked with Israel in a special way, freeing them from bondage in Egypt, leading them through the wilderness for forty-years and bringing them into the Promised Land.

When God put the salvation plan in motion, it could have been just for the Israelites; but it was not! When God’s great big heart looked at all of humanity, God’s love enveloped and encircled us all!

Rather than making salvation only for the few, God made salvation for the many—indeed for all! Jesus did not go to the cross only for Jewish people. Jesus did not go to the cross only for white people. Jesus did not go to the cross only for men, the rich, the famous, or the strong!

No, Jesus went to the cross for each and every single human being born and not yet born! Jesus’ sacrificial gift covers the multitude of our sin on the continents of Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

There is no one who can out sin, out fox, or out run the love of God revealed to humanity through Christ Jesus! When Jesus was hanging on the cross he shouted, “Father, forgive them!”

THEM…I love that word in this context because it is so big, so huge, and so awesome! Jesus’ once and for all sacrifice was perfect enough to cover all of humanity until the end of time…

Isaiah prophesied that kings and princes would bow down at the Name of Jesus and it is so! But, paupers and nobodies do the same. We all have a common experience in the cross of Jesus. We all know what it is like to stand at the foot of the cross and “behold the Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world!”

In God’s eyes, we are all the same. God is not a respecter of persons. God loves all of us richly and equally and that is why JESUS died to save all of us from our sins and to open the door for each of us to inherit eternal life.

Now, ain’ta that GOOD NEWS?!

Will you find someone who is “different” from you today and share the GOOD NEWS?

God, we pray that your light will illuminate all of the nations of the world and that your love, joy, and peace will flood people everywhere. We pray that Jesus’ sacrificial love, displayed on the cross, will touch the hearts of people everywhere such that they will come running asking, “What must we do to be saved?!” Help us to stand ready to answer that question with bold assurance. Make our witness simple to understand. Use us, O God, to lead your children into a saving relationship with you as they come to believe that they are loved by You and that Jesus died and rose again to save them from their sins! In Your Name, Amen.


If you have additional questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus" found at

We are celebrating with the 10 people who have recently put all their hope in Jesus! Happy Re-birthday!

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From Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/

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