The Greatness And Glory And Deity of The Lord Jesus Christ
As Seen From The Book Of The Prophet Isaiah
The First and the Last
There is a constant attack on the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, especially in the false cults who endeavour to bring Him down to the level of merely a great man. However, we believe that the Bible, in the Old Testament as well as the New, emphasises again and again that Christ is God, and all who have some affection in their hearts for Him would desire to see this clearly and to maintain it, the Spirit giving him or her help.
We find in Isaiah three portions where Jehovah, the God of Israel, is referred to as "the first and the last" (41:4, 44:6, 48:12), and correspondingly in the book of the Revelation the Lord Jesus three times is referred to as "the first and the last" (1:17, 2:8, 22:13)1. I would say for myself that this is conclusive proof that the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New, and we have no hesitation in pointing out these scriptures to emphasise the greatness and glory of our Saviour. Surely, if we love Him, and I am sure that we do, however meagre and shallow that love may be, if it is there is sincerity we would desire to preserve this great and glorious and unique dignity that belongs to Him.
Isaiah Saw His Glory
It is one of the things that I do, not that I am competent to judge translations, but when examining a new translation I always turn to passages where there should be references to the deity of Christ, and if I find that that is in any way impaired then I refuse that translation. It is good that we put our foot down firmly upon this great, fundamental truth that Christ is God. Indeed, we could not understand the many things that are said of Christ and the many things that He did if we did not believe that He is God. But all through the fibre of Scripture we find His deity referred to again and again.
Isaiah 6 is another proof. Isaiah was in the presence of the thrice holy God (perhaps a reference to the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, not revealed as such but nevertheless there). And John says of that very passage, "Isaiah saw his glory, and spake of him" (12:41) while referring to the Lord Jesus, the wonderful glory of the Son of God, coequal with God. Oh, how great and glorious He is, and He is our Saviour. Let us repeat that again and again, let us have this engraved on our hearts, He has done so much for us, He will do yet far more for us but over and above it all is His unique and great glory. Isaiah saw the glory of Jehovah and John tells us this was the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again we have no hesitation in saying that the Jesus of the New Testament is the Jehovah of the Old.
The Mighty God
Finally in Isaiah 9 we have the description of the Messiah, clearly the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and one of the names given Him here is "the mighty God" (v.6). Now if you turn over to chapter 10 you will find there that the same name is given to Jehovah, "the mighty God" (v.21), so here in the Old Testament itself is conclusive proof that the Messiah, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, is God, the mighty God.
That is all I have to say, but how we need this reinforced in our hearts, His greatness, His supremacy, His unique glory, infinitely greater than our minds can think of. He is the eternal God, He is the mighty God, He is the first, He is the last, He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament, all the glorious names that we can think of belong to Him and how thankful we are that this is so.
Our Response - Three Examples
I was thinking about the psalmist when he said, "My heart is welling forth with a good matter" (Ps.45:1, J.N.D.). I was thinking also about Job. He and his three comforters asked many, many questions, but no progress was made, it was getting them nowhere. No wonder Elihu was exasperated (Job 32:2-3)! I thought also of the indignant feelings of Paul as he moved about in the city of Athens and he saw the city given up to idolatry (Acts 17:16). What a wonderful thing it is to have the heart moved in real appreciation of Christ, but what an awful thing it is to be in the presence of Christ and not be moved by it, to have unmoved, callous, unfeeling hearts. If we have not feelings of indignation when we see increasing sin and the opposition to God there is something wrong with our feelings, and if we are not frustrated when sometimes in our meetings there is a great deal of talking but no progress made, there is something wrong with our feelings. We would desire above all to be marked by this spirit of spontaneous desire towards Christ, to express ourselves in deep appreciation to Him. May it be so for His name's sake.
1 The phrase "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" which occurs in Revelation 1:11 in the K.J.V. should be omitted, having very little textual support.