The Arm of the Lord

1Isaiah 53:1-5 (KJV)  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?  [2]  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.  [3]  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  [4]  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  [5]  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

One of the most beautiful texts in the Old Testament is Isaiah 53. The chapter starts out with two questions:

Who has believed our report?

God is going to do something so incredible that the question is asked, “Who will believe this?”. God is going to reach out and do something never before seen, nor even conceived of.

To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

God is going to reach out and save those who believe on Him. God did a new thing when He saved Israel from Egypt. God’s arm …

dried the sea, the waters of the deep,
making a way for the ransomed to pass over” (Isaiah 51:10)

The arm of the Lord that made us, that stretched forth the Heavens and laid the foundations of the earth (Isaiah 51:13) will do a new thing. The

Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:10)

What shall the Lord do? What shall the Almighty God do that will astonish the world? In love God will enter His creation to save it from its sin. In love God will become Christ, the Messiah, the Redeemer of all who will receive Him.

God Reveals His Arm In Christ’s Birth

No one can explain the mystery of the Red Sea Crossing, how God parted the waters so that Israel could go through and yet drowned the armies of Egypt. People try to explain it away. Egg head theologians tried years ago to explain and rationalize the Red Sea crossing. I know one scholar suggested that the Red Sea was shallow and naturally dried up at the time when Israel went to cross it, so there was no miracle there. That same scholar could not explain how God destroyed all the army of Egypt – a mighty army – in just inches of water (see Exodus 14:28). Archaeologists of Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry discovered the remains of a large Egyptian Army from the 14th Century BC at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, in the Red Sea. The bones of the large army were discovered 1.5 kilometers off shore, stuck in a vast amount of clay and rock, and there was no evidence of boats or ships in the area. No one can explain this naturally.

But God is able. God is able to suspend the laws of physics. God is able to part water, to do the impossible. God does the impossible because for Him, nothing is impossible. When God reveals His arm He does the impossible because HE IS GOD.

Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:

When God reveals His arm in Christ He does something as miraculous as the parting of the Red Sea. Jesus comes into the world

as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground”

What is “a ROOT out of DRY GROUND”. If you take a root out of dry ground it will have no life in it. It will be dead. It is not possible for a root to bring forth fruit from dry ground. Roots need water. They need the nourishment of soil. The root out of dry ground speaks of the uniqueness of Christ’s birth. God foretold the birth of Christ in …

Isaiah 7:14 (KJV) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

The sign of the Christ was that He would have a miraculous and mysterious birth. The parting of the Red Sea for Israel was a mysterious and unique event in history, never before nor after duplicated. The birth of Christ is equally unique. God would cause a new thing, a unique birth.

A virgin shall conceive.

This is unique in human history. No virgin has ever conceived prior to Christ’s birth, and no virgin can conceive now. Conception requires both egg and seed, and when egg and seed meet there is no virgin. Some people say:

I can believe in Christ, but I sure can’t believe in this virgin birth stuff”

Beloved, the virgin birth is central to the Christian faith. God said:

I Myself will give YOU a SIGN”
“A virgin SHALL CONCEIVE”
“And bear a SON”
“And you shall call Him Immanuel – which means God with us

When Christ enters the world He enters through a virgin. We are told:

1 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

God became flesh through a unique delivery system, a method that cannot – even with all our scientific and medical knowhow – be duplicated. If you take the virgin birth away you destroy the authority of Christ. Without the virgin birth – what the Angel told Mary:

Luke 1:35 (KJV) ….. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Why did Christ have to be born of a virgin?
Because all others born are infected with the sin of Adam.

The Bible tells us that …

Romans 5:12 (KJV) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

We are all sinners not because we sin, but because it is IN OUR NATURE to sin. We are born infected with sin. We sin whether there is Law to break, or whether there is NO LAW to break. The Apostle points this out in ..

Romans 5:14 (KJV) … death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned {in the same way that Adam did – my words}

We are born sinners. A child newly born looks innocent, but as the child grows it becomes clear that it has an old sin nature. The Psalmist said:

Psalms 51:5 (KJV) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psalms 58:3 (KJV) The wicked are {strangers to God} from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

If Jesus were born as you and I were born, then He would be a SINNER just as we are sinners. Yet this is not so. Christ was virgin born. God was His Father, not Adam. He was – as the Bible says:

Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV) … was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus Christ came “in the LIKENESS of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3-4). He looked like us humans. His flesh was like our flesh. He felt pain and hunger – but NEVER knew sin. Adam was not His father. God was His Father. If Jesus were a sinner just like us – if His birth was just like our birth – we would yet be dead in our sins. As a sinner Christ could not pay the penalty for our sin. But the Scripture declares:

2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV) For {the Father} hath made {Christ} to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The salvation of the sinner can only be found in the substitutionary sacrifice of the Savior. He suffered in our place – the innocent for the guilty – so that we could be saved. This is why His Blood is called “Precious”.

1 Peter 1:18-20 (KJV)18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain {way of life} received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

God’s arm reached out to save us, and He did so by sending His Son. To save man Christ had to be man, human like us. But to save man He did not need to be a sinner as we are. A sinner cannot save a sinner. Only a savior can Save a Sinner. Christ is that Savior. He is God’s outstretched arm to save us.

But there is one other thing we need to think of in the Virgin Birth. In order for life to come to the virgin she had to humble herself and submit. When the Angel told Mary she was to have a child her response was:

Luke 1:34 (KJV) … How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Mary was a virgin in a day when to be unmarried and NOT a virgin was shameful. In America today sexual sin has so perverted our public morality that we think nothing of loss of virginity. But in Mary’s day it was shameful to be pregnant outside of marriage. As Mary asked this simple question I can imagine the state of her heart. What will others think? What will JOSEPH think? What will my mother and father think? And the neighbors … what of them? The virgin birth is a beautiful illustration of salvation itself.

God speaks.
We choose to move.
God acts.
Life comes forth.

If Israel had heard the Word of the Lord and not moved, they would have died under the Army of Egypt’s onslaught. If Moses had heard the Word of the Lord and not lifted up the rod he carried over the Red Sea it would have never parted. Mary had a choice. God told her what He was going to do. She could accept it, or reject it. If she accepted it then she would have life where previously there was no life. So it is with salvation. As Adrian Rogers once said:

Just as that Baby was formed in Mary, Christ is formed in us, and there is a new birth. Something supernatural takes place in us. Thank God for the virgin birth. Jesus Christ came to earth that we might go to Heaven. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin that I might be born again.”

God Reveals His Arm In Christ’s Life

Isaiah 53:2-3 (KJV) … he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

We have all seen the familiar pictures of Jesus. I have several hanging on the walls of my office. Jesus in a robe standing in a garden was given to me by my mother before she died. There are two other pictures drawn of Jesus by my oldest son Michael, one of Christ in Gethsemane and another of Christ on the Cross. They are the familiar picture we’ve all seen. Would it surprise you to know that NO ONE TODAY KNOWS WHAT JESUS LOOKS LIKE. There was never a picture drawn of Christ in the early Church. God forbade that His people worship idols in the Ten Commandments:

Exodus 20:4 (KJV) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image …

The first “images” of Christ were made between 240-256 AD, 200 years after Christ ascended into Heaven. When Christ came to this earth He was not movie star beautiful. Isaiah said:

He hath no form nor comeliness”

Jesus was not stately nor majestic in appearance. The Lamb of God did not come to us with the beauty of Hollywood. He looked rather ordinary. Why? Because He came to give Himself not just for the beautiful people, but for the rest of us. Have you ever been watching television or a commercial on television and asked yourself:

Why aren’t there any PLAIN people like me in this show?”

Have you ever noticed that? I have. Jesus didn’t come for the popular crowd. He came for EVERYman and EVERYwoman. He is “The Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world”. We are told:

when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him”

When the devil seeks to entrap, he does it with beauty and power. He sends the BEAUTIFUL prostitute and the magazine filled with GORGEOUS women. He makes the alcohol or drug experience feel GOOD. The leading men of Hollywood are BUFFED and BEAUTIFUL.

But God does not want to entrap us. He sent Christ to save us. Jesus was not a show off. He came presenting Himself as the ONLY WAY TO GOD. When the devil tempted Jesus:

Matthew 4:5-7 (KJV) Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Jesus was not into publicity stunts. He did not want to attract people through the miraculous. Several times He healed people and said “Do not tell anyone that I did this”. Jesus didn’t want a group of followers chasing Him for the wrong motives. Christ came to bring us to God, into union with the Heavenly Family. When the Pharisees said “Give us a sign and we’ll believe You” Jesus told them:

Matthew 12:39-40 (KJV) …. An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah: 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Jesus Christ came to call us to follow Him to the Father. He did not come to woo us through His beauty, for beauty is temporal and fleeting.
He calls us to salvation BY HIS WORD and BY HIS WORK.

God Reveals His Arm In Christ’s Death

Isaiah 53:3-4 (KJV) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  [4]  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

The world did not receive Christ. Isaiah says of Jesus:

He IS despised and rejected of men
He WAS despised and we esteemed Him not

The Jesus of Scripture was despised when He came to this earth. Born of a virgin, God walked among us like a common person. He was the King of Kings and yet kings hated Him then and hate Him now. He was without sin, and yet He was condemned as a sinner. Though He never did evil …

Isaiah 53:12 (KJV) … He was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

He was crucified between two criminals. And as He died on that Cross of Calvary He prayed for His torturers,

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)

Why did Jesus go through the terror of not only the Cross, but empty Himself to walk among us (Philippians 2:7)? He put aside all glory to do something very specific. We are told:

Isaiah 53:5 (KJV) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Only through His suffering – the Sinless for the Sinful – are we saved. Our transgressions are covered by His Blood. We have peace with God because our punishment was placed on Him at Calvary. With HIS STRIPES we are HEALED. Oh, I could preach another hour! But I will not. I know some of you care little for what was said today, but I pray the Holy Spirit break your hearts before the words fade from this room. There is no life outside of Christ. But in Christ is ETERNAL LIFE, both now and forever more. What are we told?

Isaiah 53:6 (KJV) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Do you see Him? Him Who said:

Isaiah 50:6 (KJV) I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

Jesus Christ did that for you and I. He set His face like flint (Isaiah 50:7; Luke 9:51) and went to the Cross voluntarily for you and I. He was so beaten that the Scripture says:

Isaiah 52:14 (KJV) As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

Jesus Christ died for us. Have you received Him? Have you believed on Him? The arm of the Lord reaches out to you today in Christ. Will you come, receiving Him, and so join the Children of God?

May God speak to your hearts this very day.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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