Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
September 26 Scripture Selection: Isaiah 1-3
Food for Thought: Is. 1:11, 18-20
The book of Isaiah is rich in references to Jesus the Messiah and to prophecies of the last days. In chapter 1 (and beyond), the Jewish people are rebuked for having a form of religion, but living a life-style completely void of the will of God, a common problem even today. They went through all the religious rituals, but they could not satisfy the Lord with them because their hearts were not right. And besides, the Lord knew that it would take something much more than burnt offerings of rams and such to deal with the deep-rooted issue of sin.
In several places in the Scriptures, the Lord makes it clear that the sacrifices made to Him did not please Him, nor could they truly treat the problem of sin which wedged a gap between Him and those He had created in His image. Hebrews 10:8-10, quoting Psalm 40:6-8, explains and contrasts the old ways with the New:
“Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law), then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Psalm 51:7 confirms both the inadequacy of the traditional sacrifices as well as the hope that the Lord provides to make one clean, not just covering the sin for a time, but purging it for once and for all: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;You do not delight in burnt offering.” The significance of hyssop first appears in Exodus 12:22, used to paint the blood of a lamb on the door posts of the houses of the Hebrews as protection from the angel of death, serving as a foreshadow of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God (John 1:29). His blood would forever ward off the angel of death while also serving to completely cleanse us and make us white and pure as snow.
No sacrifice of human effort could ever reach the level of that of Jesus, nor could it ever achieve righteousness in us. Thankfully, we are no longer required to do anything by our own strength to accomplish the right-standing with the Father and the purification of sin. That sacrifice has already been offered and works continually on our behalf. All we have to do is believe and receive. The blood of the Lamb does the rest (Heb. 7:24, 25).
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):