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
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7 thoughts on "We Are His: A Lenten Introduction"
What I’m most excited about is that I’ve never been a part of lent or did anything to even try, and I’m taking a giant step to do this. Thank You, Lord, for the opportunity afforded to me by Your sacrifice on the cross and Your resurrection. Thanks to Your grace, I am able to freely say that I believe in You.
With all the things and stuff that one can enjoy and experience in ones life. None of it really matters if we have not experienced Jesus Christ as our savior. God is all the assurance we will ever need here and forever.
Too often I take for granted that Christ’s birth, life, death and even his resurrection were foretold. God promised salvation and then he fulfilled it. That is because He does not promise as we do. What God says will come to pass will as surely as if it had happened already. I need to live my life to reflect that truth.
While I traditionally have seen Lent as this religious work that wasn’t going to benefit me in any way, my perspective has been changed. However, I have come to realize that this preparation for the historic coming of Christ doesn’t have to be the giving up of anything, but instead adding something–a regular and purposeful morning with Jesus before I start my day. Simple, introspective, peacheful, obedient.
Recent trials have begun to shake my world harder than ever before as I have entered the wilderness with The Lord (especially in the realm of lust, sexuality, relationships, and the following fear for the future) and today, some lyrics in “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns has helped me to see the perspective that perhaps my world isn’t falling apart, but instead is falling into place. It is my hope that through these struggles, in light of recent events, I can preserver through the wilderness that The Lord brings me through. That when I grow weak, I will rest in Him and not turn back, and that ultimately I learn to surrender my everything and all to Him each and every day, the good, the bad, and the ugly, knowing that He ultimately will never fail me.
This is me, and this is for Him…
This was a good reminder of who really keeps us safe, who we can fully trust in for any situation, and that’s Jesus. No job, company, leader, nation, or government can ever be fully trusted in like we can trust in Jesus. What is even better is Jesus is there for us no matter where we live. In my own life I need to remember to put my trust in Jesus and not in a job, company, or country to keep me and my wife safe. God will always provide while nations fall, companies go broke, and people get laid off. The only true source of stability is Jesus.
I’ve never done anything like this before. I am in much need of Jesus’ mercy, love, and strength. I find myself constantly loosing the battle for my heart due to lust, doubt, and fear. I hunger for redemption; I hunger to be saved.
Justice was denied to the most just and holy person ever. All to save me. Glory!
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