The Covenants God Keeps (6): Servant

. 3 min read

Christ Church, Mountain Top, Palm Sunday
to Worship, Psalm 118.1-2, 19-29
Mark 11.1-11
Isaiah 50.4-11
The exile experience (the historical
context of the original audience)
the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11.3
The human experience
      Going from a bright future to an uncertain
one, out of my own control
      Being totally in the dark in a season of
pain (eye infection – getting to the
shower in the morning)
      Judged, because bad things keep happening,
and without an advocate
      Powerless to change the situation, just
worn out
            Hosanna! Lord, Save!

      Water – Noah, rainbow
– Abraham, circumcision
– Israel, law
– Israel, broken covenant
– God’s solution (pt 1), heart transplant (new covenant)
– God’s solution (pt 2), a savior
            Hosanna! Lord, Save!
Isaiah’s Servant of the LORD (song #3)
      Servant songs, 3rd of 4 (full
list on note sheet – read!)
      Transition in the use of the Hebrew root
“servant” (`ebed) in Isaiah
            1-40 – plural, present, of
kings/rulers, of labor (even animals)
            54-66 – plural, future, servants of
            41-53 – singular, future, Servant
(either individual or collective)
Open ear
      48.8 – contrasted with God’s people: “from
of old your ear has not been opened … you were called a rebel”
      Exodus 21.2-6 – serve for life with a
pierced ear
      Luke 22.27 – “I am among you as one who
      50.6 – participating with God’s people: “I
gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the
beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.”
      Confident, Innocent, Triumphant: “Who will
contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them
confront me. It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?”
      Contrast with God’s people: weary,
fearful, guilty, failures (the exile/human experience)
      Read by the church as a description of
Jesus’ passion
      Echoed in the promise of Romans 8.31-39:
God is for us, who is against us?  32 He
who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not
with him also give us everything else? 
33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who
justifies.  34 Who is to condemn? It is
Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.  35 Who
will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or
persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36 As it is written, “For your sake we
are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be
slaughtered.”  37 No, in all these
things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor
life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor
powers,  39 nor height, nor depth, nor
anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Invitation/Response (50.10-11)
      Listen to the Servant OR Light your own
      Steps into our darkness with confidence
because he himself is Light
      Refuse to be honest about the darkness
      Dependent on and obedient to God’s Word
      Self-sufficient or co-dependent
(manipulate) … but not depend on God
      Leads us into an uncertain future
      Cling to the past with grief or denial
      Trusts and obeys – colt, “the Lord needs”
      Making sense of life on their own

R. Seitz. 2001. The New Interpreter’s
Bible (Isaiah 40-66), Vol VI.
Nashville: Abingdon Press.