Blog Post

29th Oct 2023 – Minister’s Letter – Sermons on Isaiah

Today we begin a series of sermons on the vision God gave Isaiah. This vision is a tale of two cities: the sinful earthly Jerusalem we see in chapter 1 and the perfected New Jerusalem we see especially in 2:1-5; 25:6-8 and 65:17-19, 25. The vision shows how God will take sinful people and transform them, and us, to be a delight to him (65:18-19).

Zion

In Isaiah the name “Zion” is used 52 times for both the earthly Jerusalem and also for the heavenly one (see 2:1-4). “Mount Zion was the site of the Jebusite hill that David captured and made his royal residence seven years after he became king (2 Samuel 5:6-7). The ark of the covenant was placed in the tabernacle (tent) in Zion and later moved to a hill where the temple was built (1 Kings 8:1). The name Zion came to be used for the site of the temple and for Jerusalem as a whole. Israel gathered for worship in Zion because the Lord loved it (Psalm 78:68; 87:1-2) and made it his dwelling place (1 Kings 14:21; Psalm 9:11; 48:1-2; 74:2; Isaiah 8:18). The prophets spoke of God’s deliverance coming to Zion (Isaiah 59:20; Zechariah 9:9)” (P. T. O’Brien, The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 483). The New Testament calls the heavenly Jerusalem “Zion” (Hebrews 12:22-24; Revelation 14:1). New Jerusalem is part of the new heavens and new earth (Isaiah 65:19) and in Revelation 21:1-2, “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” 

Nick Speyer