Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
The appearance of God’s glory to Isaiah in chapter six would shake anybody up. The Lord of all, seated in the temple, his seraphim with him, and their calling to one another all point to the majesty of the Lord. Here we also have suggestions of the trinity. The seraphim have three pairs of wings. They call out about God’s glory, repeating it three times. We get the picture that this is significant. It speaks of God’s nature.
Above all, God, in his nature, is glorious. Isaiah recognizes in verse five that he is lost, undone, unclean, and probably going to die because he has been confronted by God’s glory.
How will Isaiah manage to deal with this appearance of God’s glory? In fact, he can’t deal with it. Only God and his messenger can do it. Isaiah is touched with a burning coal from the sacrificial fire of God. With this he is purified. He is not merely redirected. He is purified. His guilt is taken away. His sin is atoned for.
What’s significant about this? In the appearance of God, in His glory, we are confronted with our sin and failure. We cannot stand on our own. We recognize there is no earthly way we can face God. Yet the seraph tells Isaiah his guilt is taken away. Who takes it away? It isn’t the seraph. It’s God himself. Isaiah’s sin is atoned for. Again, Isaiah doesn’t do it, nor does the seraph. God does it.
It is by God’s mercy that we have forgiveness. His righteous wrath has been turned away. And the great mystery in all of this is that God does it himself. This is the work of Jesus, God the Son, who, having one will with the Father and the Holy Spirit, chooses to have the wrath of God poured out on himself rather than on us. Yes, God pours out His anger about your sin, my sin, and the sin of the whole world, on himself, accomplishing two impossible things.
First, as Jesus bears the sin of the world, God the Son dies. The immortal God lays down his life for you. Yes, this is impossible, but God does it, and he willingly dose the impossible because it is the way to rescue you.
Second, by his death, Jesus gives you his righteousness. He transfers your sin to himself and his righteousness to you. Again, this is impossible, but nothing is impossible for God.
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord our God. Our sin has been atoned for. Thanks be to God.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.