“It was finished upon the cross”. (Singing). Those words Jesus spoke on the cross are the most powerful and world-changing words. ‘Tetelestai’ – is is completed, it has been accomplished, the whole purpose of my mission here. The word comes from ‘teleo’ which means purpose. This was the purpose God sent Jesus to accomplish. I think of the ‘Nike’ slogan “let’s do it!” But Jesus says, “I have done it, now go out and live in that power!”
“Yes Ian that act was the ultimate act to bridge the gap between you and My Father. I have bridged that canyon and made it possible for you to have peace with Me and My Father, so that we are all on the same side. You must understand that the greatest difficulty that I needed power for on your behalf on the cross, was not so much My physical death, but facing off against all the forces of evil gathered against Me. Being prepared to take separation from My Father as punishment for your being on the side of ‘evil’. That battle has been won – it is complete, yet I have Allowed Satan room to move – because you need to be constantly faced with choices between good and evil. I put all the power of My word and My Spirit at your disposal, but you nevertheless need to continue to make the right choices so that you live for Me and My kingdom. So go out an do it, because I have already done it.”
Not wanting to rush through Isaiah my reading today is Isa 44:25 – 45:13. Once again it is as if Yahweh gathers His breath and blurts out in the full power of His word who He is. Just look at those vv 24-27. He, is the one who has created everything, allow your mind to wander through that statement again. Everything from the highest heavens to the smallest atom. That One formed you in your mother’s womb. He Chose you (Ephes1:4) to be ‘in Jesus”. To be part of His almighty plan.
Around you he makes fools of all those who think they are wise, who think they can conjure up the future. Who dare to set themselves against Him. Then He declares His immediate purpose which focuses here on the restoration of the cities of Judah. But, of course, the cities only represent the people who live in them. The interesting vs 27 where He speaks of drying up the sea and rivers, probably is the reminder of the Red Sea crossing from Egypt and the crossing of the Jordan into the Promised Land.
Now comes the mind-blowing bit: He is going to use Cyrus, an evil King, to accomplish His purpose. He even calls him “My shepherd” and further says He has anointed him. (45:1). God says he is firstly going to show him who He is. That He is Yahweh, the God of Israel. That there is no other God beside Him. Then He makes this astounding statement twice in vs 4 and 5: “though you don’t know Me”. Nevertheless He wants Cyrus to know that He is God.
Let us explore that a bit. God is dealing with His people who are being totally disobedient to Him. Because they are not responding, he chooses a total pagan king to accomplish what He wants to do. Which is to restore the cities of Judah. In His endeavour, He is revealing Himself to his ‘servant’ to the extent that this man must come to know that Yahweh is the Lord 45:3ff However, He twice makes the point that Cyrus does not know Him (personally). vv 4 and 5.
Now I find this interesting indeed. God is saying He will accomplish His purposes even if He must use someone from outside of His people to do it. But this does not necessarily mean that this man will come to know God personally. Mmmm So God will accomplish His purposes. If you and I are not hearing Him and obeying Him, He will find someone else to do what He wants. In fact, how many people out there know intellectually that God exists, but don’t know Him personally, yet are doing His work for Him?
Now comes the rider. Will His people be angry about this? He pre-empts this with His statement about them daring to argue with Him about what he chooses to do and how, in vs 9. In fact He reminds them of His souvereignty and that he can use anyone for His purposes, since He has created them and therefore they belong to Him. Vss 9-11. (Shades here of Romans ch 9).
For my bucket of information, it reminds me of the fact that God does not create puppets. He wants each one of us to make the right decisions willingly, in our walk with Him. Nevertheless He will accomplish what He wants done, irrespective of any situation where His people are not doing that.