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Shadows of the Cross

Shadows of the Cross – Who is Jesus to you? (Isaiah 11:1-5)

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 10-14

Today’s Reflection: Isaiah 11:1-5

1) There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.  2) And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.  3) And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.  He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, 4) but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.  5) Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

Jesus asked His disciples two provocative questions: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” and “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-20).  Truth is these are questions all of mankind must answer for themselves.  The answers we give will in large part determine our eternal destiny.

At that time some thought Jesus was the reincarnation of a great prophet.  Some thought He was a conquering warrior king, come to overthrow the oppressive Romans and restore the nation of Israel to independent rule.  Today some think Jesus is just one in a continuum of would be religious or spiritual figures, whether mythical (Mithras, Bacchus, Dionyssus) or real (Buddha, Muhammad, Ghandi).  Some see Jesus as a magician who performed elaborate parlour tricks, faked His death and spawned an ongoing cult of  devoted and deluded followers.  Some see Jesus as a harsh disciplinarian ready to strike down anyone who disobeys God’s commandments.  Others see Him as a live-and-let-live saviour too loving to punish anyone for anything.

Who is He really?

Isaiah 11, one of the best known Messianic prophesies tells us some important things about the righteous branch who we would come to know as Jesus.

He is the King:  descended from David (the root of Jessie) Jesus is of the blood of the kings of Judah.

He is God’s anointed:  The Spirit of the Lord is within Him.  He moves at the behest of His heavenly father and does the things God assigns Him to do (John 5:30).

He has God’s wisdom:  God’s Spirit of perfect knowledge and understanding is with Him.

He has God’s discernment:  Jesus is not fooled by what human senses can observe, but can see to the heart of man and his circumstances.

He is the righteous judge:  For the poor and meek who have been denied Jesus will give them justice.  For the wicked Jesus will give them what they deserve.

He conquers by the power of His word:  Jesus came to establish His rule not with weapons of steel, but with words that show man the way, the truth, and the life that can only be found in Him (John 14:6).

His kingdom is not of this world:  Isaiah 11 goes on to explain that the kingdom Jesus came to establish is not for now but for a time to come – the Day of the Lord (vs. 6-9).

So who do you say Jesus is, really?  Do you want to believe what makes you comfortable, what is convenient with your lifestyle or worldview, or do you want to believe what can make you whole and set you free?

John 12:36 – “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”  When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.

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