A Standing Invitation. A Staggering Declaration.

God does not change.  Consequently, it should not surprise us to find New Testament realities foreshadowed within the pages of the Old Testament or r–in some cases–crystal clear passages in both Testaments proclaiming the same truths.  In our reading of Isaiah, Jodi and I came across such a passage today–Isaiah 45:20-23.  Readers familiar with the words of Jesus and the writings of Paul will easily notice the connections.  And all of us will see “A Standing Invitation” and “A Staggering Declaration.”

“Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, Who carry about their wooden idol, And pray to a god who cannot save. Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.

A Standing Invitation

Jesus declared, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light” (Matthew 11:28-30; NASB).  This particular invitation by Jesus is remarkable when considering the identity of Jesus. Who is Jesus?  He provides the answer in a short, but amazing biography:  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).  He truly is the Savior repeated mentioned throughout the book Isaiah–the most Christo-centric (Christ-centered) book of the Old Testament.  Today I am thankful again that an ancient record challenged me to once again consider the person and works of Jesus Christ.  And I rejoice that the admonition of James remains in full effect over all centuries:  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8; NASB). 

A Staggering Declaration

Did you notice what the LORD said in Isaiah 45 about what surely will transpire in the future?  There is no question in His mind that “every knee will bow and every tongue will swear allegiance” (45:23).  That concept was utilized by the Apostle Paul at the conclusion of one of the most recognized passages in the New Testament–Philippians 2:5-10

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (NASB).

Can I pry?  Does the “shoe fit”?

Several years ago, my parents came to church to witness the dedication of one our children.  The text for the  sermon that particular Sunday led the pastor to call those in attendance to repent of theirs sins and trust in Christ alone for their salvation.  At the conclusion of the service, we met my parents at a restaurant for lunch.  When we arrived, my Mom revealed her conversation with my Dad on the way to lunch.  He admitted to having an emotional response to the message.  Mom said that Dad used the phrase, “I felt like he was speaking right at me.”  Her reported reply to him was, “If the shoe fits, buddy.”  In other words, “Do what you think you should do.”  I am not aware of any change in his life after that experience.  But let me ask this question:  What about us?

Does the shoe fit us?

Have we willingly bowed our knee to Christ?  One day every knee will bow.  The clear exhortation of the Scriptures is that Jesus deserves our worship while we still have breath (Psalm 150:6).  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star (Rev. 22:8-16).  There simply isn’t anyone like Him.

No one.

The shoe fits all of us.  We should all worship Jesus Christ!

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