Christ’s Victorious Mission
Isa 55:4-5 Behold, I have given him [for] a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation [that] thou knowest not, and nations [that] knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
When you start reading in the opening verses of Isaiah 55, you are amazed and wonder: Can you imagine an invitation to be any better? I don’t need to bring anything, I am invited, to come, to drink, to eat, to be satisfied, to be saved! How can this lavish salvation be offered so freely? How can it be that the doors of Gospel salvation are thrown open so widely?
The context explains everything. In Isaiah 53, the Suffering Servant has been painted before our eyes. His sufferings are described to the very details of his death. The work is finished, and the final verses make it clear, Christ’s sufferings were not a vain pursuit. No, you only need to start reading in Isaiah 54, to be encouraged to hear that the tent of Israel is too small to contain all the Gentiles who will be brought to salvation! God will accomplish his precious promised salvation to both Jew and Gentile!
And so, when we come to the glorious invitation of the Gospel in chapter 55, this Gospel offer can only be so free and amazing because of the finished work of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53! This Gospel offer can only be so satisfying because, the Servant would “see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied” (cf. Isa 53:11). In other words, Christ’s Mission is glorious and victorious, because of His suffering the good-pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand! His sufferings are the reason that He will have Gospel-ignorant nations running to Him (Isa 55:5).
What is so interesting is that this same Suffering Servant in our text is described as a Witness, a Leader and Commander to the people. We are urged to pay attention to Him, with the word: Behold.
- Christ is the Witness to the nations, He authoritatively represents and speaks in God’s Name. He is the great prophet, who brings salvation and judgement to the nations. So when we speak about Him, He will come right alongside with His Spirit.
- He is the Leader, that implies that we have to follow Him. Christ Himself made that claim so clearly before He ascended into heaven: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Mat 28:18). This is why our feeble attempts to witness can be powerful.
- He is the Commander, which implies that we better obey Him, in other words, that we need to practice what we preach. But also, when we speak His words, they will be obeyed, because He is the Chief Commander of His army.
This glorious and victorious Servant of the Lord has won the battle for sinners like us. He has earned the nations. Psalm 2 shows that He just has to ask, and the heathen will be given to him as an inheritance (Ps 2:7).
What a comfort! What hope!
When we spread the Gospel far and near, when we try to bring people to the knowledge of our glorious Savior. God will do what we can’t! Christ will ask for His people and the nations to be gathered in!
What joy when we are simply to proclaim and extend the Gospel offer to each and ever sinner. None us has anything offer to God, but our sins. What liberty when we point to that Suffering Servant and say: “He bore the sins of many.” He does what we can never do!
In verse 5, we are called to pay attention, a second time. What are we to pay attention to? That This glorious Witness, Leader and Commander is going to call a nation that was ignorant of true religion. Yes, because of the Holy LORD God of Israel, nations will eagerly run to serve Him. Why? Because Christ glorified the Only true and living God! That’s why people will come running to Him. Christ’s work is finished, his perfect life and his sacrificial death are the only reason sinners will be saved!
Have you seen the nations running already? Are you eager to see them run to Christ? Then continue to go in the power of this Christ, with the promises of Christ, with the free Gospel offer of Christ! He has promised to make the Word effectual by the unlimited power of His Holy Spirit. May the Lord bless your efforts as you do so!
And you reader, who have not yet run… I ask you with verse 2;
Why do you labor for that which does not satisfy? Why?!
Listen! Eat! Let your soul delight in Christ! And you will receive the sure mercies of David! He shall have a willing people in the day of His power! (Ps 110:3a)