Jesus, Our Present and Future Hope
Advent is the Latin word for “coming”. It is the time in the Christian calendar when we look back and rejoice at Jesus’ first coming.
It is also the time we look forward with great hope in God’s promises to Jesus’ second coming.
This Advent, we will be studying through certain passages in Isaiah to remember and to reset our hopes on the kingdom that is here and is to come in full power at God’s appointed time.
A note about the Old Testament and its prophets:
Jesus taught us that he was the interpretive key to the whole Old Testament.
John 5:39, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…”
Luke 24:27, “And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
As we look to the text, keep your senses tuned to Jesus.
The New Testament’s reading of the Old Testament is how we are to read it.
The prophets of the Old Testament contain three main ingredients:
- They address the covenant breaking of the people through stinging indictment and accusation.
(SEE ISAIAH 1)
- They warn of the consequences of this folly as they speak of the judgment that has come and will yet come.
- They remind people of the covenant faithfulness of God, who will yet act in some conclusive way to bring about his purposes.
The prophets, because they are speaking from God to time and space and concerning God’s eternal plan have an immediate focus on the present when it was written, and on the future fulfillment in Jesus and his future full reign when he completes his mission. There is a dynamic nature to the Old Testament.
It is these latter two that we are most concerned with when we study and teach from the Old Testament. How does this passage predict, prepare, reflect or result from Jesus’ person and work?
With that in mind, let’s look at Isaiah 2:1-5
What do we see? What does it mean?
- Isaiah looked forward to see Jesus as God’s presence established and exalted v. 2
- The latter days began at Jesus’ first coming (Hebrews 1:2).
- The mountain of the house of the Lord is none other than Jesus (John 1:14 – skenoo – to pitch a tent, to tabernacle).
What makes the mountain high is not that it grows later on.
What makes it significant is that it has the temple.
What makes the temple special is God.
What now makes the temple obsolete is that Jesus “tabernacled” among us.
Jesus is God come to dwell among us, and after the resurrection, Jesus temples up in every one of his followers.
What do we do with this?
- We take courage that Jesus has done what God sent Isaiah to proclaim he would do, and rejoice that Jesus dwells in us by faith.
- Isaiah looked forward to see Jesus draw all nations to himself v. 2b-3
- John 12:32 “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
- The nations come to be taught Jesus’ ways.
- Out of Jesus’ kingdom goes his “law” …his word.
- Jesus, the crucified and risen King is drawing the nations to himself, and we as his
ambassadors are to teach his word and disciple the nations.
- Jesus will finally complete this work of drawing the nations to himself and teaching
What do we do with this?
- We take heart that the gospel of the kingdom is powerful and effective. People will come to you and to us as we do his work.
- We are to teach his word…the law of Christ and his kingdom.
- We persevere in the work because Jesus will bring it to completion.
- This is no passive thing. This is actively obeying Jesus and believing he will then make that obedience effective.
Illustration: Colston RL group hosting on December 11 a group of our people to hang out with us and celebrate Christmas and they are not yet in the faith.
- Isaiah looked forward to peace on earth and good will among nations v. 4.
- Jesus is the divine mediator among nations.
- Daniel 4:28ff (see verse 32) He gives to one and takes from another.
- As Isaiah says, he settles disputes.
- Jesus is currently setting up and taking down nations according to his good end.
- Jesus will one day bring final peace (Isaiah 65).
What do we do with this?
- Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9
Jesus came and made peace by the blood of his cross, therefore, those who make peace are like Jesus, the Son of God and get to be sons of God.
- Be a peacemaker, and trust Jesus to sort out the big stuff.
- Isaiah invites any with ears to hear to walk in Jesus’ counsel v. 5
- This message was applied to guilty Israel in 740 BC.
- Isaiah 1 as a call to renew their commitment to keeping the covenant of Sanai,
- This message is applied to us in 2016.
- Love God and love our neighbor as ourselves, the summary of the law made
possible by Jesus’ coming, dying and rising.
One of the ways we walk in the counsel of the Lord is by worshiping the King.