Every now and then I will paraphrase a portion of Scripture as if it were Jesus speaking the words to us. This week I am preaching on John 6 (part of our series called "Signs") and I am ending with an allusion to Isaiah 51. This is Isaiah 51:9–16 from Jesus's perspective:
"Take heart! I have overcome the world.
The forces of darkness could not defeat me,
The kingdoms of man could not silence me,
And the grave could not hold me down.
It was I who broke the chains of sin.
It was I who silenced the boasting of death.
It is I who shut the mouth of your accuser, the Devil.
I led you out of captivity.
The shackles of sin and death fell from your hands
The prison doors swung open at the sound of my voice.
I called you and your dry bones came back to life.
Breath entered your Spirit-starved lungs and you were alive again.
You are my beloved. You were bought with a price,
And when the trumpet sounds, you will rise again to live with me.
We will dine together as brothers and sisters—children of God.
The sad things, the hard things, the shameful things, we all be made untrue.
In their place will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
It is I who accomplish these things.
Who is it that redeemed you?
In whose hands are you right now?
Are they not mine? The Alpha and the Omega?
If so, what are you afraid of?
Did you forget that I made all things?
Did you forget that I hold all things together?
There is nothing that exists that doesn’t exist through my power.
Do you think that your troubles are too big for me?
Do you think that I can’t handle them?
You are joint heirs with me.
As I overcame, so you, too will overcome.
I know what you need.
I see the beginning from the end.
I will not forsake you.
I am the Son of God.
I am the Word made Flesh.
I have called you to my kingdom.
And you will forever be my brothers and sisters."