Simultaneously published at The Gospel Continues: Isaiah Devotional Journal 51 – justonesmallvoice.com
By Christina Wilson on
The Gospel Continues: Isaiah 25:6-9
The modern era gives us the blessing of many biblical translations. The (ICB) (1) provides a straightforward translation of Isaiah 25:6-9. I call it the Gospel of Isaiah.
6 The Lord of heaven’s armies will give us a feast. It will be on this mountain for all people. It will be a feast with the best food and wine. The meat and wine will be the finest. 7 On this mountain God will destroy the veil that covers all nations. This veil, called “death,” covers all peoples. 8 But God will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe away every tear from every face. God will take away the shame of his people from the earth. The Lord has spoken. 9 At that time people will say, “Our God is doing this! We have trusted in him, and he has come to save us. We have been trusting our Lord. So we will rejoice and be happy when he saves us.”
How Is This Gospel?
I. God Is Spirit–Before Christ, People Were Not
Many of the people who followed and spoke to Jesus made the understandable mistake of living in a concrete-only world. That is, most people achieved only a physical understanding of God. They weren’t capable of more, being “dead” (spiritually) in their sins (Ephesians 2:1). They worshipped God in tangible ways only. For example, they sacrificed bleating sheep and flying birds (Luke 2:22-24). They weighed out a certain amount of cumin and other spices (Matthew 23:23). They traveled to specific locations (John 4:20) to worship. A famous teacher such as Nicodemus could only fathom being “born again” as climbing back into his mother’s womb (John 3:3-4). In the Old Testament, God intended his worshipers to express their devotion in concrete, material ways.
But Jesus inaugurated a new creation in a New Testament. He preached a spiritual gospel. We need to back up in order to understand this. God created humanity in his image. God is Spirit. But when Adam sinned, humanity suffered death and separation from God. God turned them out from his presence. Humanity lost its one link with God–living in his physical presence in the Garden. Separated from God, only material, touchable flesh remained. From that point forward, God taught his people with physical, material items. Abel’s sacrifice of an animal pleased God. Later, through Moses, God commanded that they build him a special tent (the tabernacle) and worship him with sacrificial animals. Only a few prophets heard from God directly.
II. Jesus Brings the Spirit and Life
But then, in God’s perfect timing (Galatians 4:4), Jesus upended the entire system. Jesus came to bring life, and to bring it abundantly (John 10:10). The “life” Jesus brings is his Spirit, God’s Spirit (John 6:63). Why did Paul always ask new believers whether they had received the Spirit when they believed? (Acts 19:2, 6). He asked, because the Spirit is so important. The Spirit is life. There is no other life (John 6:63).
Romans 7:6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. (ESV)
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (ESV)
The word Gospel means in Greek “good news.” Yes, it definitely is good news that in Christ God forgave our sins and cleansed us. But good news gets even better. The best good news is God cleansed us for a reason. He forgave our sins so that he could send his Holy Spirit to live in us and among us. And, because we have the Spirit of God–because his Spirit makes us alive–now we can enter his presence again and have fellowship with him. That is the truly good news the Gospel brings.
1 John 1:3b …our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (ESV)
John 17:23a I in them and you in me… (ESV)
Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (ESV)
III. How Do I Get the Spirit?
Nicodemus asked the same question. He wanted to know how someone could be born again (John 3:9). Jesus answers elsewhere. His answer is simple: just ask God.
Luke 11:9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (ESV)
IV. Back to Isaiah
Isaiah the Old Testament prophet saw Christ and predicted all these things (Isaiah 6:1; 1 Peter 1:10-12). When we overcome our fear of “spiritualizing” this Old Testament passage, we begin to see what Isaiah saw. He saw the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Seeing with spiritual eyes is a good thing, not a bad thing, as some might teach (John 20:29; 1 Peter 1:8).
IV. The Feast: What Food Does the Lord Provide?
What kind of feast is it (Isaiah 25:6)?
FIRST, God invites everyone. He invites people from all nations.
SECOND, he spreads his feast on a mountain that is large enough for the whole world to see (Proverbs 1:20-21; Matthew 22:9). Jesus himself “spiritualized” the mountain (John 4:20-24). Daniel saw it (Daniel 2:44-45). The mountain is the mountain of the Lord (Psalm 48:1-2; 99:9), the kingdom of Christ (Matthew 16:18).
THIRD, what food will God serve? The food upon which all Christians feast is the Lord Christ himself.
John 6:32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
48 I am the bread of life.
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 6:32-66 ESV)
An evangelistic appeal–
Hebrews 3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, (ESV)
FOURTH, when will God serve this feast? He serves it right now, already, to all who believe. The message of John the Apostle is that Jesus is the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah (John 20:30-31) and that all who believe in him feast on joyful fellowship with God right now (1 John 1:2-4). There is also a “not yet” aspect to God’s feast, namely the marriage supper of the Lamb. That feast will be served at the moment when God destroys death and dying forever (Isaiah 25:7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:54-55) and wipes away every tear from every face (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 7:17; 21:4).
FINALLY, what should our response be? Verse 9 tells it all.
Isaiah 25:9 At that time they will say, “Look, here is our God! We waited for him and he delivered us. Here is the LORD! We waited for him. Let’s rejoice and celebrate his deliverance!” (NET)
The Holy Spirit packed Isaiah 25:6-9 with a tremendously powerful message. My prayer is that those who read the good news God presents here will believe, investigate, and share it with others. We want the message of hope in Christ to spread throughout this fallen world. The end of the ages will come. Christ draws near. Let’s help bring as many people as possible to his wonderful wedding feast.
Isaiah 25:1 O Lord God, I will glorify You, I will sing to Your name; for You have done wonderful things, even an ancient and faithful counsel. Amen. (CAB, LXE)
So be it, Lord. Come quickly (Revelation 22:20). Amen (2)
1 “Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible, New Century Version, copyright © 1986, 1988 by Word Publishing, Dallas, Texas 75039. Used by permission.”
2 Those wishing to read what scholars have written concerning this passage may find the following link quite useful: Studylight.org