Isaiah 63 … Consider Him Who Is Mighty to Save

Who is this who comes from Edom,
With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah,
This One who is majestic in His apparel,
Marching in the greatness of His strength?
“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save,”
(63:1).

Today we collide with that part of God that most of us would simply rather overlook. And in our finite understanding so deeply tainted by sin, it is more than challenging to wrestle with the concept of His indignation and anger.

Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?
“I have trodden the wine trough alone,
And from the peoples there was no man with Me.
I also trod them in My anger
And trampled them in My wrath;
And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,
And I stained all My raiment,”
(63:2-4).

This chapter takes some sharps turns from yesterday’s beautiful transformation story. Pivoting away from image of the those who are no longer forsaken but now called Married, we leave the Wedding and immediately come face to face with His Wrath; and our attention is diverted from Redeemer to Revenger, from Protector to Punisher, from Deliverer to Destroyer, from Nurturer to Nemesis.

But then another turn; and from out of this distressing depiction of despair and desolation, the testimony emerges of His abundant lovingkindness, compassion, and salvation.

I shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, the praises of the Lord,
According to all that the Lord has granted us,
And the great goodness toward the house of Israel,
Which He has granted them according to His compassion
And according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses.
For He said, “Surely, they are My people,
Sons who will not deal falsely.”
So He became their Savior,
(63:7-8).

And our human reasoning may find it all confusing as we consider the attributes of Almighty God that seem so paradoxical, so diametrically opposed to one another. But, because He Is Holy, everything He Is, everything He does and everything He speaks is perfect in Righteousness.

…“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save,” (63:1).

And because He is Righteous, He must judge sin; and because He is the Only One Who is Righteous, there is no hope for salvation in anyone but Him Who Is Mighty to Save.

“I looked, and there was no one to help,
And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold;
So My own arm brought salvation to Me,
And My wrath upheld Me,”
(63:5).

God alone has the right, the authority and the power to Save. And while we do see contrasts, we never see contradictions in His character, for He is perfect in His perfection. The lack of consistency in character lies in us.

We have become like those over whom You have never ruled,
Like those who were not called by Your name,
(63:19).

And this chapter demonstrates our tendencies to vacillate between self and God, our propensities to teeter between truth and self-obsession, choosing for ourselves the sharp turns of afflictions and misery rather than staying on His straight path of mercy and love.

And God Who Is faithful in His justice, will bring the judgment that sin has rightfully earned. And in the sharpest of contrasts, we come face to face what is truly a contradiction in terms, the paradox of His power for all who come in faith to Him Who Is Mighty to Save.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Roman 6:23).

And I just couldn’t get past the sharp turn He chose as He turned away from His rights to exaltation and worship. So moved in His sympathy for the plight of our helpless state, that He laid aside His rights for our sake, and in His love and mercy He carried us to the cross in His arms of redeeming love, manifesting His Might to Save through His death on the cross.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly, (Romans 5:6).

Consider Him Who Is Mighty to Save

  • Because He chose to become afflicted, He Is Mighty to Save.
    • In all their affliction He was afflicted,
      And the angel of His presence saved them;
      In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them,
      And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old,
      (63:9).
  • Because He chose to be despised and forsaken, He Is Mighty to Save.
    • He was despised and forsaken of men,
      A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
      And like one from whom men hide their face
      He was despised, and we did not esteem Him,
      (Isaiah 53:3)
  • Because He chose to bear our sorrows and griefs, He Is Mighty to Save.
    • Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
      And our sorrows He carried;
      Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
      Smitten of God, and afflicted,
      (Isaiah 53:4)
  • Because He chose to be pierced, crushed and scourged, He Is Mighty to Save.
    • But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
      He was crushed for our iniquities;
      The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
      And by His scourging we are healed,
      (Isaiah 53:5).
  • Because He chose to be made sin on our behalf, He Is Mighty to Save.
    • He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (2 Corinthians 5:20).
  • Because He chose to become a curse for us, He Is Mighty to Save.
    • Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,” (Galatians 3:13).
  • Because He chose to humble Himself in obedience to death, He Is Mighty to Save.
    • Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, (Philippians 2:8).
  • Because He chose to shed His blood, He Is Mighty to Save.
    • and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven, (Colossians 1:20).
  • Because He chose to endure the cross, He Is Mighty to Save.
    • fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, (Hebrews 12:2).
  • Because He chose to bear our sins in His body on the cross, He Is Mighty to Save.
    • and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed, (1 Peter 2:24).

How do we respond to Him Who Is Mighty to Save?

The Christian life is truly a paradox. Lose to gain, die to live, be humble to be lifted. And while we can’t possibly understand everything about His ways and thoughts that are so much higher than ours, He has told us this: because He chose to demonstrate His power through weakness, He Is Mighty to Save.

And He calls us to be a demonstration of His power through weakness, as we trust in the all-sufficient grace of Him Who Is Mighty to Save.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong, (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Let’s close today considering His call to live in the paradox of His power that we would sharply turn away from going after the things of the world to follow Him Who Is Mighty to Save.

Let us deny ourselves, take up our cross, that we would follow Him Who Is Mighty to Save.

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me,” (Mark 8:34).

Oh, that He would consider us worthy as we willingly lose our life for the sake of Him Who Is Mighty to Save.

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it,” (Matthew 10:38:).

And more than anything, that we would hunger to know Him, whatever it takes. Let us earnestly ask Him to teach us to lay down everything that turns us away from seeking Him, that He would strengthen us in our faith to happily lose everything in order to gain Him, that He would conform us to His death that we might attain to what He gained on our behalf, the resurrection from the dead.

Oh, may the cry of our hearts be to live in that privileged place of the paradox of His power, the place where we will intimately come to know Him Who Is Mighty to Save.

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead, (Philippians 3:8-11).

Let’s Grow Together!

Leave a Reply