Read His Words Before Ours!
When I first began reading the Bible, I didn’t understand much of it (can you relate?). I thought Revelation was the “scary” book and Isaiah was the unnecessarily long one. I found Jesus’ death tragic.
I also wasn’t sure how, or if, all the different books fit together. And finally, I was confused by all the different names of God. Fortunately, God is teaching me a lot about His Word, and I’m honored to share some of what I’ve learned.
Throughout the Bible, God is referred to by many names, each revealing something about His character. One name, El Gibhor, or “Mighty God,” is found in Isaiah 9:6. We frequently hear this verse at Christmas, in reference to Jesus:
“He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
But Mighty God is not only found in this verse; the book I used to think was unnecessarily long, Isaiah, contains many prophecies about Jesus.
Isaiah 11:1-5 foretells of a mighty God who will come from the line of King David. He will be full of God’s Spirit, wisdom, strength, and the fear of the Lord (Father God). He will be a righteous judge for the oppressed and slay the wicked.
The theme of our mighty God as defender of the oppressed is echoed in Daniel. In chapter 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fire because they would not worship false gods. And yet, they were not harmed.
Isaiah 42:1-16 speaks of a servant who will have God’s Spirit on Him. He will bring justice. He’s appointed to be a covenant to the people, a light bearer, and a rescuer of those imprisoned and in darkness.
Jesus refers to Himself as the light of the world in John 8:12-19. When the religious leaders question His authority, He tells the Pharisees that Father God testifies about Him. And God did, through Isaiah.
I can also personally testify Jesus is our light and rescuer. There was a time, not so many years ago, where I was deep in a pit of sin. I vacillated between wanting the sin and wanting to return to the Lord.
After months of turmoil, and feeling so broken and confused, I asked God to take it all from me if it wasn’t His will. My prayer seems crazy to me now, because of course sin wasn’t His will. But in the dark, you can’t see.
Within the week, I was back in that same sin, but it felt different. I started thinking about consequences and reasons why I was even in this pit. And suddenly, what I was doing made absolutely no sense to me. El Gibhor had shone His marvelous light into the dark prison of sin and pulled me out. Praise Him!
And now we come to my misunderstanding about the death of Jesus. I’ve come to realize it is so much more than just a tragic story; it is the story of our mighty God.
Second, Jesus’ sacrifice was necessary, as payment for our sin. Isaiah 53:5-6 describes how He was pierced, crushed, and punished for my sin and my rebellion.
For all of our sin.
Romans 3:23-24 reiterates, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
Third, it was voluntary. Isaiah describes how the Lord’s “own arm brought salvation” when “he willingly submitted to death.” And in the New Testament, we need only peek into the Garden of Gethsemane to hear Jesus say, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39, echoed in Matthew 26:42)
And so, Jesus chose death . . . death unto life. (Luke 23:44-24:8)
El Gibhor, our mighty God, conquered sin and the grave.
You see, the death and resurrection of Jesus was a precursor.
As outlined in Isaiah 61:1-2, Jesus’ redemption of His children foreshadows Christ’s return to earth for His people, the ultimate defeat of His enemies, and the establishment of a new heaven and earth.
In Revelation, we see our mighty God, our resurrected sinless sacrifice, ending the rule of sin on this fallen earth once and for all. El Gibor alone is capable and worthy of final victory, final authority, and final creation of a perfect eternity.
Friends, only Mighty God can accomplish these things. There is no person or thing who can do what Jesus, El Gibhor, can. May we live in anticipation of the glorious day when all prophecies will be fulfilled and we will live and reign with Jesus forever.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!