Exploring Messianic prophecies:
The Arm of the Lord - Isaiah 53:1

The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy that describes the Messiah’s suffering for the sins of the people, consists of two questions; “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD revealed?” The first question is an indication that the gospel message contained in Isaiah’s prophecy would be unbelievable to some. Therefore the second question answers the first; the “arm” of the LORD would have to be “revealed.” In other words, the LORD reveals His “arm” to those who He knows through His foreknowledge will receive the truth of His message.

The “arm” is used in this passage as a similitude for the Messiah, whose death for the sins of Isaiah’s people (verse 8), is described in the prophecy; “You shall make His soul an offering for sin” (verse 10).

God’s Arm is an extension of Himself that is sent to gather those who the LORD has chosen through His foreknowledge into His embrace. In Isaiah 51:9, the Arm is addressed as a distinct person. –

Awake, awake, put on strength O Arm of the LORD; awaken as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Are you not it that has cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?”

In the first messianic prophecy (Genesis 3:15) we are shown that the Messiah would “bruise” the head of the serpent, the devil, who is also referred to symbolically as a dragon (Isaiah 27:1, Rev. 12:3). Thus we can see that this “Arm,” this person who pre-existed in the ancient days, operated as the devil’s nemesis throughout history, and was also the arm God used to guide His people through the wilderness. –

That led them by the right hand of Moses with His glorious “Arm,” dividing the waters before them, to make Himself an everlasting name (Isaiah 63:12).

Behold, the LORD God will come with strong hand and His “Arm” shall rule for Him, and His work before Him.
    He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His “Arm,” and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young (Isaiah 40:10,11).

My righteousness is near; My salvation is gone forth, and My arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon Me, and on My “Arm” shall they trust (Isaiah 51:5).

And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His "Arm" brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness it sustained Him (Isaiah 59:16; see also Isaiah 63:5).

We can conclude with another question. Can you trust on the Arm of the LORD? Has God revealed His Arm to you, this One who was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, Jesus the Messiah? (Isaiah 53:5).

Copyright 2021 by H.D. Shively

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