Isaiah 40:9-11 (ESV) Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” 10 Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
John 10:14-18 (ESV) I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
The Old Testament is absolutely loaded with gospel indicators. Jesus taught us to read those Scriptures that way in Luke 24 after his resurrection.
Isaiah 40:1-11 does not disappoint.
Isaiah 40 is where Isaiah, under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, looks forward to Judah’s captivity in Babylon and he preaches for their comfort. Isaiah breaks to this glorious good news message in verse 9 where Jerusalem is personified as a preacher of the good news.
One must ask, what is the good news that is to be preached? He answers at the end of verse 9, “Behold your God!”
God himself is the good news. God in his person and work epitomizes the glorious good news. Don’t misunderstand. In order to mine out the amazing message of the good news, there must be a few questions asked like: Who is God? What is his name? What about him is “good news”?
The authors of the New Testament intend for us to have answers to these questions. Isaiah 40:1-11 is referenced in Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:43, Luke 1:3-6, and John 1:23.
So, how do they answer the questions? They say God’s name is Yeshua, Jesus (Yhwh saves), and they say he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus says of himself in John 10 that he is the “Good Shepherd”.
One facet of the good news about God is that he is like a shepherd that will tend his flock, gather them up from being scattered, carry them, and lead them.
Do you see it? Do you see what Isaiah and the gospel writers are doing? They are telling us that Jesus is God’s ADVENT to bear witness to himself as the good news and that good news is witnessed in his shepherd like love and care for his people, and that love is displayed by laying down his life for the sheep.
Jesus does just that. He goes to the cross according to his eternal plan to bring salvation and comfort to his people and he conquers death by resurrection. Isaiah 40:9 invites everyone to take a look at this God.
We intentionally take a look at all the glorious facets of Jesus in order to see the good news.
Advent. Behold your God!