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THOUGHTS FROM ISAIAH

THE RESTORATION

The work of the Messiah is a work of multi-dimensional restoration.

The restoration of justice and righteousness
Because the Messiah, has perfect wisdom, understanding and knowledge what he does and what he says is always and absolutely right. He is not motivated or determined by the appearance of things [11:3]. The appearance of things, the way things are, is the result of millennia of wickedness in which the truth about God has been corrupted, and the values of God have been abandoned.

Contrary to the way things are, the Messiah and his words and actions, are characterised with righteousness, justice and faithfulness [11:4,5]. He rights and avenges all wrongs. He puts an end to all wrongs. In everything he is faithful to God and to God’s values. Whereas the abandonment of God results in social injustice, the Messiah restores social justice. Whereas the wicked go unpunished when God is rejected, the Messiah brings them to justice.

But there is a deeper, spiritual truth embedded here, for Jeremiah refers to the Messiah as ‘the LORD our Righteousness’ [Jeremiah 23:6]. Not only does the Messiah restore social justice, he also grants to sinners the unexpected and totally undeserved gift of legal rightness [acquittal] in the presence of the Judge of all the earth:

‘For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last’ [Romans 1:17].

‘Christ Jesus, who has become for us … our righteousness’ [1Corinthians 1:30].

The restoration of physical safety
When the Messiah rights all wrongs physical peace and safety will be restored. The discord and destruction that entered the physical creation in Genesis 3 will be reversed, along with the fear and threat to human survival:

‘The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and yearling together;
and a little child will lead them ...
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain’ [Isaiah 11:6,9, see also 7 & 8].

‘… creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay …’ [Romans 8:21].

‘There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. … I am making everything new.’ [Revelation 21:4,5].

The restoration of the knowledge of God
This restoration of universal peace, which includes peace between humans, is grounded in the restoration of the knowledge of God:

‘… for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea’ [11:9].

‘And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it’ [Isaiah 40:5].

‘ … they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest’ [Jeremiah 31:34].

It is the Messiah, and only the Messiah, who restores this knowledge of the Lord:

‘… no one know the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him’ [Matthew 11:27].

‘If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well … Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’ [John 14:7,9].

The restoration of spiritual rest
The Messiah also restores spiritual rest. This rest, like the restored physical peace and safety, is grounded in the knowledge of the Lord. This rest includes, but also transcends, the people of Israel. The Messiah stands as a banner for all people: the nations rally to him [11:10,12], and he gathers the remnant of Israel and Judah [11:11,12]. This ‘glorious’ rest is a spiritual rest that removes the alienation between man and God, and breaks down all human divisions and barriers:

‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest … rest for your souls’ [Matthew 11:28,29].

‘… through him to reconcile to himself all things … by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross’ [Colossians 1:20].

‘You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus … There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ [Galatians 3:26,28].

‘… he himself is our peace … he has destroyed the barrier …’ [Ephesians 2:14].

© Rosemary Bardsley 2014