The LORD has demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God.
– Isaiah 52:10 (NLT)

Isaiah, the great prophet and herald of the Kingdom of God, spoke to the people of Israel approximately 700 years before Jesus was born. The nation was in exile, living in  Babylonian captivity after the destruction of Jerusalem. The Jews suffered greatly and faced powerful cultural pressures under constantly changing events. Isaiah’s early messages were those of admonition, telling of God’s displeasure for their departure from Him. Later, he spoke of forgiveness and hope for those who returned to God.

Today’s world bears similarities to Isaiah’s time as we confront worldly temptations, chaos, turbulence, hedonistic practices, and political unrest.

For the Israelites, Isaiah 52:10 is a verse of hope that foretells the rebuilding of Jerusalem. For those of us today who see the Gospel concealed in the Old Testament, we cannot help but call to mind the manner in which the Lord demonstrated His holy power. The NRSV translation uses the phrase, “The Lord has bared his holy arm.” Not only is it made bare, showing His strength, but it is also stretched out to God’s covenant people promising salvation and redemption—fulfilled in Jesus Christ—even after they were unfaithful.

The message to us today is the freedom from sin and death earned by Jesus stretching out His arms on the cross and our eternal life with Him. The image of His arms extended and bared portrays Jesus’ strength and redeeming powers—especially meaningful at Easter.

We read again this salvation for all the nations in Matthew 28 when Jesus gave His followers the Great Commission—to go and make disciples in all nations. He further assures us in verse 20 that “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

So we learn from this verse of God’s sovereign power, His redemption available to all and, most importantly, His hope—the hope that no matter what our transgressions, we can be freed from sin and His hope for the world as we share His good news with others.

by Elder Dave and Lynn Lyons