Monday, March 17, 2014

It's Not Blasphemy If It's True

Isaiah worked as a prophet from 740 B.C. to at least 681 B.C. He wrote to the people of Israel rebuking their sin and warning of God's judgment that would come if they did not turn back to Him. At the same time, Isaiah encouraged the people of Israel by reminding them of and assuring them of the hope they had in God's promises.

The passage of Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 is prophetic about the suffering and glory of the Messiah who was to come, who did come. Isaiah's prophecies were completely fulfilled in Jesus.

A few verses before that passage, in Isaiah 52:5, Isaiah wrote:

" 'And now what do I have here?' declares the Lord. 'For my people have been taken away for nothing, and those who rule them mock,' declares the Lord. 'And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed' " (NIV 1984).

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition defines "blasphemy" as:

  • the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God
  • the act of claiming the attributes of deity

After Jesus was arrested and while he was in their care, the Roman soldiers abused Jesus:

"Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, 'Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?' " (Matthew 26:67-68).

Imagine the contempt, the irreverence for God.

Jesus was living prophecy. He was living out and fulfilling multiple prophecies right before their very eyes, but they were either blind to it or willfully ignorant of it. (Tweet that!) “Willfully ignorant” because the information to know God, and to know Jesus and Who he was, was available to them—even the Romans—just as it is available to all people today.

As for Jesus, yes he claimed to be God. It's not blasphemy if it's true. (Tweet that!)

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