My last two posts have been about God’s faithfulness and his mercy. Today I wanted discuss God’s holiness.
Isaiah is the prophet of divine holiness. His own prophetic call came in a profound revelation and experience of the holiness of God. He saw the Lord and heard the chant of the fiery seraphim singing their triumphal hymn, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty” (Isaiah 6: 3).
And Isaiah was never the same again. Throughout Isaiah’s prophecies in the rest of the book that bears his name, God is repeatedly called “the Holy One of Israel.”
“He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth” (54:5). This title placed the sins of Isaiah’s society in stark contrast to God’s moral perfection and his absolute separation from evil. In his holiness, God exists above and apart from the world he has made. How amazing, then, that God came down to the world he made – the Holy One would become flesh, living in a world and among people sullied by sin.
John wrote in his Gospel that Isaiah “saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory” (John 12:41). Jesus is the Holy One of Israel. And if it was not immediately obvious to the Jews, it was to the demons who were threatened by his power and purity. Luke wrote:
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!”
“Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. (Luke 4:33-35)
Perhaps the more significant recognition of Jesus as the Holy One, the Messiah, came from Peter, who spoke for the rest of the disciples even as many followers of Jesus turned away: “We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:69).
In Jesus, God invites us to know him in his holiness, and even share in his holiness. May we believe and know that Jesus is the Holy One of God. Let us now pray and then sing together.
Prayer – I believe and know you are the Holy One of God. Make me holy as you are holy. Set me apart by your Spirit. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty!
Revelation Song by Kari Jobe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-zk-E55dRk
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.