A couple of Sunday’s ago I had to reluctantly confess that I had experienced a case of “buyer’s remorse” about the sermon for that day. (It was from Song of Solomon.) I had prayed, planned, and published the preaching schedule and then looked at the sermon title later and said, “What have I done?” Eventually, I came to be really excited about that message. The sermon for Sunday is one I am over the top excited about and for which I have absolutely not a tinge of “buyer’s remorse.” The text is from our Bible reading schedule that we are following for this week and is Isaiah 53. This text is an amazing summary of the gospel of Jesus Christ, written 700 years BEFORE the coming of Christ.
Isaiah 53 details Jesus’ entrance into the world, the lead up to the cross, and how Jesus died on the cross for us. The text clearly eludes to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s the gospel – the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ – and that is the saving message that every person must hear and to which every person must respond. As Isaiah 53 makes abundantly clear, Jesus was pierced, crushed, he took our chastisement, and by his wounds we are healed.
Our sins must be washed away by the blood of Jesus. That is our only hope.
Recently I read the text of an interview with Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City. Bloomberg said, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven.” Interesting. Bloomberg is a billionaire and has tasted some of the world’s highest levels of success – but he is clueless about going to heaven. He – and all of us are dependent upon the grace of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
That’s the message of Isaiah 53. I look forward to exploring that on Sunday, August 12.