Praying for God’s Mission in Light of the Old Testament-Part 9
God's Story, Part 1
Where We’ve Been
I love the Old Testament. It is filled with stories that point to Jesus and His coming. That is what we have been looking at throughout this journey through the Old Testament. We saw how God started revealing His plan from Genesis with the announcement to Abraham that he will have many descendants. We have seen how God worked through the history of Israel; promising David that his throne will last forever; the priest being crowned; Moses and the burning bush; and the 10 Commandments, just to name a few of the stories we have looked at.
This brings up a question of “why did Jesus come?” As you might have guessed, the Old Testament does indeed bring this up. One passage is Isaiah 53. Take a break from reading this hub and read that entire chapter. It is filled with images to help you understand the first coming of the Messiah. As you read it, pray that God will open new things to you that you have never seen before. Then come back to this hub. After reading it, if you have any insights that I didn’t share, please share in the comments below.
Pierced on this
Pierced for Our Transgressions
I think that is my favorite verse from this chapter. If you haven’t already, look at verse 5 and re-read it. It is because of our transgression that Jesus came to die. Paul writes that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). That is a powerful statement, a reminder that even in the Old Testament it says that the Messiah was to be our sacrifice for our sin. Later in Isaiah 53:5, we see that we are healed by his wounds. The rest of the chapter reaffirms this idea.
It is good to be reminded of this fact that Jesus died for you, your family, your friends, and everyone else. He died so we could be healed of the sin problem that lives in all of us. He did this willingly. Just look further down in chapter 53 as it talks about Him being like a lamb being led to be slaughtered. Lambs follow their owner because they don’t know any better. But Jesus went knowing what was going to happen to him. As He went, He didn’t say a word. He went out of love and grace. Let that sink in! Jesus could have fought his way out of being executed but he didn’t. He is God the Son. He could have done it easily but instead He went willingly.
What is your favorite verse from Isaiah 53?
Something I Wonder About
I believe that baptism is a picture of us dying and being buried with Christ and then rising with him. I see this more in baptism by full emersion then in any other mode of baptism. As I think about this idea of being joined in the death of Christ (and His resurrection), I wonder if Jesus thought of everyone that would accept Him as savior while He was on the cross. It could be a reminder to Him of why He was there. As I think about this, I pray more for those I know to be on Christ's mind as He is on the cross.
To continue this idea, who do you want on Christ's mind while He was on the cross? Most of these hubs I ask you who are you praying for to saved. This is a central question as we are praying for God’s mission. Christ died to take away the sin of the world and he does this only when we turn away from our sin and put our trust in Him. And for our friends and family who are not saved, we need to be praying that they will turned to Christ. Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sin and need for a savior.
I have come to a conclusion that the more I think about God’s mission the more I realize that it is God doing the work and He calls us to partner with him. Isaiah 53 is a reminder of that. It was God’s will to crush him. It was God’s will to pierce him for our transgression. You see, it is finished, means the act needed for our salvation is finished. Now it is about telling the world. That is where we partner with Him. That is where God through us is pleading to the world to accept what He did and for us to turn away from our sins. For our friends and family to do that, we need to be praying for them. Let’s be pleading with God to save our friends and family.
Paul writes to those who don’t believe Jesus that the cross is foolishness. Since we are the ones that have embraced it, it is we that need to spend the time to pray fervently for those around us to be saved. As you are praying, be willing to share the hope that you have in Christ when called upon and pray for those opportunities. When you share it, believe that God is working in the life of the one you are sharing Jesus with. Prayer is the fuel for your activities in God’s mission.
At the Cross
Keep the Faith
What did you see in the passage that I didn’t bring up? Please share those in the comment section below. With that in mind, how does that lead you to pray for God’s mission?
Prayer is our way that we keep the faith that will fulfill what He promised, redeeming the world. I encourage you to keep on praying, and praying, and praying. Early and often.