Hear the words of the Prophet Isaiah from Isaiah 53:
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah received those words from the Holy Spirit some time between 701 and 681 B.C.. He is speaking of Jesus. In fact, this is the very passage that a high-powered consulate was reading when the Holy Spirit drew Andrew to bear witness of Jesus to him.
The question he asked Andrew, and the one question every human being must answer is this:
"Who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?"
Because the answer - and I cannot stress how profoundly important this is - has eternal consequences.
Andrew new it. He pointed straight to Jesus and helped the Ethiopian official draw the conclusion that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Scripture's prophesies and promises.
As a disciple, I am overwhelmed with the magnitude of the love of God expressed through the sending of His Son. We think it awe-inspiring (and we should) that he gave hints and clues - even close to 800 years before he was born! But then to put the exact nature of his demise ... and why.
The Ethiopian got it - what horrible circumstances for the greatest of the greater good!?
As I look to Easter, I am also overwhelmed by the wisdom of God and the purpose of God.
The story is not over!
Every day, every opportunity, the mission and purpose of God's design continues!
Soon, Grace will celebrate 1,000 people who have come to Christ and been baptized. That's a lot! But we're not done! Just like God used the disciple Andrew to connect to the Ethiopian official, God will use YOU to help people make the connection between He who was prophesied and He who calls them today.
Who has believed our message? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
Only you and God know ... let us be busy about being that critical link!
Invite someone to Grace today!