The Lord continues his message through the prophet Isaiah to a troubled people:
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.Isaiah 52:8-10 (NIV)
This prophecy has been fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ. In the midst of an occupied city and an occupied nation, the Messiah came. Remember how they welcomed him into the city that last time?
Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! John 12:13
Hosanna means “God saves.” What could be more joyful than the reality of his salvation. In the coming of Christ, God did comfort and redeem his people, and countless peoples among the nations have seen his salvation as well.
But that’s not the complete fulfillment of the prophecy.
Many times, in the Bible, a prophecy will have an immediate fulfillment, a future fulfillment, and even an ultimate fulfillment. If we look at this passage from Isaiah, we know that God did restore and save his people from exile. They struggled for seventy years in captivity, but they did return to rebuild their wall and eventually see their temple restored (though not to its former glory).
As I said, through Jesus’s time on earth, his death, burial, and resurrection, this is fulfilled in a fuller way. Though trials remain, there is joy in the salvation God brings.
Finally, this passage carries the message of the complete fulfillment of God’s salvation. With the return of Christ a second time, the Lord’s holy arm will be laid bare in the sight of all nations, because his judgement will be carried out. At that time, every eye will see, every knee will bow, and every mouth confess that Jesus is Lord. His return will be seen by all peoples, and those who know him will have such joy and relief, while those who have rejected him will be crushed and in bitter distress.
Whether you are seeking God or already know him, this is a message to be believed and heeded. Christ has come once to make the way possible for many to join him on his ultimate return as Savior and Judge. Even today, the watchmen are on the lookout for the runners who bring the good news. The way is being made for that glorious day.
Listen! He’s coming again.
Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.
Grace and Peace