Isaiah 63:1-6 — God of Salvation; God of Judgment

The gospel has, from the beginning, been a double-edged sword.  Salvation for those who will receive Jesus, and judgment for those who reject him.  You see both in this passage.

First you see the judgment of Christ on the nations, his garments red with the blood of those who rebelled against and fought against God.  He said,

I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing.  For the day of vengeance was in my heart.  (3-4)

And again,

I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.  (6)

It’s a picture of Christ that no one wants to think about.  But it shows very clearly what Paul says in the book of Romans.

For the wages of sin is death.  (Romans 6:23)

If we refuse to turn from our sin, and persist in our rebellion against God, we will face judgment and death.

But God is also the God who brings salvation.  Isaiah asks,

Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength?  (1)

God answers,

It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save…the year of my redemption has come.  I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me.  (1, 4-5)

It is very reminiscent of what Paul also wrote in Romans.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:6-8)

When there was no one who could save us, when we were powerless to save ourselves, God came down as a man died and died for our sins.  He didn’t wait for us to make ourselves righteous.  We couldn’t.  Instead, while we were still steeped in our sin, unable to help ourselves, Christ died for us.  Now all we have to do is receive the gift he offers.  That’s the other side of the gospel.

But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 6:23)

Salvation or judgment.  For each person, it’s one or the other.  Which will you choose?


About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください:
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