By Russ Ramsey
It is impossible to overstate our need for a Savior.
During Lent, Christians traditionally meditate on Scriptures that point us to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we see our desperate need for salvation through the lens of a cross and an empty tomb, we are reminded that nothing we cling to for security outside of Christ Himself can offer us any real or lasting hope.
Isaiah’s original audience, in the 8th century BC, was made up of people in the process of losing their homeland. They wondered what God’s solution would be, and if He even had one. Isaiah was written during a season of cultural and political unrest in Judah. Their good and steady king, Uzziah, died just as the opposing armies of Assyria chose Judah as their next nation to conquer. As the people of Judah waited and worried, Assyria subdued them and carried them off into exile.
Whatever hope God’s people had put in their homeland was gone. All they had left to appeal to was the God of their fathers. All they could hope for was that God would intervene and save them. Lent reminds us that this salvation is all any of us can hope for, even as this season declares that Hope has come.
One of the most profound and beautiful qualities of Isaiah is how filled it is with references to the coming Savior of the world. Isaiah, more than any other book in the Old Testament, describes the coming of Christ in great detail. This prophet tells us about the One born of a virgin, on whom the Lord would lay the iniquity of us all. This Suffering Servant would be our Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace, and by His wounds we shall be healed. He has called us by name; we are His (Isaiah 43:1).
During this Lent study, we will make our way through the message of restoration in the book of Isaiah. During the final week, we will also read Scripture passages from the Gospels that correspond with the events of Holy Week. Through Isaiah we will look ahead to the Savior, and through the Gospels we will look back on the salvation that is given to us in Jesus.
Read on, and may your time in Isaiah cause you to worship the risen Christ.
Written By Russ Ramsey