Text – Isaiah 42:1-9:
42:1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be crushed
until he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
5 Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
7 to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
I tell you of them.
This passage is the first of the Servant Songs in Isaiah (42:1-4) and contains a unit (42:5-9) that announces and praises God’s triumph in nature and history. Though written for Judah’s ears, this text also is taken in the New Testament to also look forward to the Messiah. Matthew, especially uses the language of Isaiah 42: Matthew 3:17; 12:18; and 17:5.
In his description of the Servant Messiah, Isaiah says three things about the character of Messiah. 1) He is authorized and empowered by God. 2) He is gentle, strong, and persistent. And 3) the servant is to establish justice throughout the earth. All three of these are true of Jesus as well.
Lent points like an arrow to Calvary. In the greatest of events to happen to mankind, the event of the cross was the moment when evil was confronted and destroyed and the work of our servant Messiah could be completed. This last week is Holy Week, and we can take joy in knowing the good news of God’s work in Christ.
O God, we give thanks during this Holy Week for the work you did with Christ to defeat Satan and to bring the new regime of the Kingdom to rule in the lives of mankind. We pray that you will help us to focus on what it means to us to submit ourselves to Messiah’s good reign and work. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.