In Isaiah 7 and 9 we see great prophesies about Jesus hundreds of years before His birth. The Lord told the people what they should be looking for. It would be a child, born of a virgin, who would save His people. Much has been written about these passages
Yet nestled in between these 2 chapters, in chapter 8, I believe we get another glimpse of Jesus. In verse 14, we are told that “He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stonew that causes people to stumbleand a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare.”
“He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stonew that causes people to stumbleand a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare.”Isa 8:14, NIV
The verse before this we see that it is just the Lord of Armies that we are to look to, to hold in reverence, to see as awesome. And it says here that He will be a stumbling block to the house of Jacob. We see the same thing in 1 Cor. 1:23, where it says, “but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling Block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks.”
“but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling Block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks.”I Cor 1:23, NIV
And what does it say about Jesus here in Isaiah? He will be a holy place. Other translations use the word sanctuary for holy place. Here we see that He is to be our sanctuary! In Spurgeon’s notes on 8:14, he points out that it is Jesus that makes a space holy. It is not the building, per se. How often do we speak of a church as holy, or as sacred ground. Yet if Jesus is not there, then it is nothing special.
Jesus makes a space holy
The same goes for our worship services. If Christ has not been preached and worshipped, if the Holy Spirit wasn’t present, then it is not worship. Spurgeon goes so far as to call it “wasted time,” and I would agree.
We are to come together as the body of Christ, and we are called to continue in worship together. But we must never lose sight of the purpose. It is to glorify Jesus Christ! Otherwise our time would be better spent in our Bibles at home.
If we are not worshipping and serving Jesus when we are together, then we might as well stay home.
Our goal should be to glorify Christ at all times. To worship the only true Living God. In these troubled times, we have nothing to fear but Him, and He tells us not to fear. We are to come into His sanctuary and worship Him. We need to remember that His sanctuary is wherever He is, and He is wherever we are. He always with us!