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Wednesday, July 06, 2005 AD

Commemoration of Isaiah, Prophet of God

"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed
Him stricken by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our
transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the
chastisement that brought up peace, and with His stripes we are
healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to
his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. . . Yet
it was the will of the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His
soul makes an offering for sin; he shall see His offspring; her shall
prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. Out of
the anguish of His soul he shall see and be satisfied; by His knowledge
shall the righteous one, My servant, make many to be accounted righteous,
and He shall bear their iniquities." (Isaiah 53:4-6, 10-11)

"Isaiah interprets the law to mean that the death of Christ is a real
satisfaction or expiation for our sins, as the ceremonies of the law were
not; therefore he says, "when He makes Himself an offering for sin, He
shall see His offspring, He shall prolong His days." The word he uses here
('asam) means a victim sacrificed for transgression. In the Old Testament
this meant that a victim was to come to reconcile God and make satisfaction
for our sins, so that men might know that God does not want our own
righteousness but the merits of another (namely of Christ) to reconcile Him
to us. Paul interprets the same word as `sin' in Rom. 8:3, `as a sin
offering He condemned sin," that is, through an offering for sin.'. . .
Isaiah and Paul mean that Christ became a sacrificial victim or trespass
offering to reconcile God by His merits instead of ours. Let this stand in
this issue, then, that the death of Christ is the only real propitiatory
sacrifice." (Apology, XXIV, 23)

Isaiah, mighty seer, in spirit soared
And saw enthroned in majesty the Lord
Around Whose throne shone glory from His face,
Whose robe of light filled all the holy place.
Beside the throne two six-winged seraphim,
Who with their wings showed reverence to Him.
With two each hid their face in holy awe,
With two his feet, these angels without flaw,
And with the third wing pair ascended high
To span the heavens with this mighty cry:
`Holy is God, the Lord of Sabbaoth!
Holy is God, the Lord of Sabbaoth!
Holy is God, the Lord of Sabbaoth!
His grace and might and glory filled the earth!'
Then shook the roof beam and the lintel stone,
And smoke of incense swirled around the throne.
(Martin Luther's Sanctus)

Courtesy of Canadian Kung Fu Master Paul Williams, Orthodox-Lutheran Moderator.



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