October 14 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” ~Isaiah 53:11

OLD TESTAMENT

The final Servant Song of Isaiah begins in chapter 52, verse 13, and theologians refer to this song as “the gospel in the Old Testament.” It is a vivid foretelling of the suffering servant, the coming Messiah. This Servant Song is told in the past tense, which may seem odd since it is a future event from Isaiah’s perspective. However, in Hebrew, the past perfect tense is sometimes used when an upcoming event is sure to happen. It’s like when a friend asks for a favor and you say, “It’s done.” You mean, of course, “You can count on me to get that done.”

It is neither an accident nor a coincidence that the final Servant Song is located toward the end of a book that deals heavily in international affairs. Isaiah has touched on the fate of Judah, Babylon, Philistia, Egypt, Edom, and Persia. What does the coming of the Christ have to do with all of these people? Isaiah has an answer to that question in chapter 9, verse 7: “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” The coming of the Christ is not just about the salvation of individuals or the restoration of one people group. In the end, He will restore all things!

Isaiah explains that the Servant had come from God to deal with a particular and specific problem, the sin that exists within us and among us. He was despised and rejected and bore the sins of mankind. And then he was raised to life. “After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many” (Is. 53:11). God dealt with the sins of His people through a sacrifice that satisfied once and for all His need for justice and holiness!

The message that Jesus Christ, the Servant and Messiah, has taken sin on His own back and died in place of the sinner will be proclaimed not only to the people of God but to the nations. They will hear of His triumphant resurrection. Those who seek the Lord will find Him and those who are thirsty will be satisfied (Is. 55:1, 6). This prophecy has been set in motion. We can find salvation and satisfaction now while we await the restoration of all things in the coming kingdom.

NEW TESTAMENT

Paul is an excellent model of how to lead people. Authority and power should always be used to bless people. “As apostles of Christ…we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children” (1 Thes. 2:7). What a beautiful example to all of us who minister to people. What is more, Paul is no people-pleaser carrying out his duties for the praise from men (1 Thes. 2:6). He truly wants to please the Audience of One in his ministry. What a model for every leader in our Lord’s church!


Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.