Isaiah Preached about the Messiah
I like to cook and bake, although I am a better cook than a baker. That’s usually the case. People are better at one or the other; rarely is someone really good at both. The reason is because cooking and baking require different wiring in a person.
Baking is more of a science. Good baking requires following a recipe precisely, or understanding the proper ratios of the different elements in a baked good and how one will interact with the others.
Cooking, on the other hand, is more of an art. Good cooking requires creativity and thinking outside of the box. Recipes are starting points, if you use them at all.
If you are wired for baking, you will struggle to create new dishes as a cook. If you are wired for cooking, you will struggle to follow recipes as a baker. That’s why someone rarely excels at both.
I am a better cook than a baker because I like to create in the kitchen. I enjoy imagining what flavors will go with others and I enjoy making something on my own—not just following a recipe.
How about you? Are you more of a baker or a cook in life? To put it another way, are you a rule follower or a rule breaker?
This week’s session, Isaiah Preached about the Messiah (Unit 13, Session 5), includes a well-known Messianic prophecy—Isaiah 53:6.
We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.
When you read that verse, you likely might think about cooks—rule breakers. And that’s fair. God certainly has them in mind when He describes sheep who have gone astray to do their own thing. That describes cooks to a T. In the kitchen it manifests itself in not following a recipe. In life it manifests itself in people who turn from God’s Word and do what they want to do instead of what God commands.
But what about the bakers? The rule followers? Are they off the hook?
Not at all. They just went their own way differently.
You might ask how in the world a rule follower goes his or her own way. Aren’t they by definition obeying God?
Actually they aren’t. Oh, it may seem that way on the surface, but God is not concerned with how things look on the surface. He is concerned with the heart. And the heart of the baker is just as warped as the heart of a cook. It just shows itself in different ways.
The cook says, “I don’t trust God! I don’t trust that His way is the best for me.” So the cook does whatever he or she wants.
But the baker says the exact same thing! The only difference is that while the cook doesn’t trust God’s rules, the baker doesn’t trust God’s grace! You see, bakers follow rules because they believe that by doing so, they will be right with God. That God will love them more. That God will be more pleased with them. Basically, bakers believe they can be good enough for God—they need to be good enough—because they don’t trust God’s grace.
Same disease; different symptoms.
Both the cook and the baker stray from the gospel in their own way. By not trying at all or by trying too hard. Neither trusts in the ending of Isaiah 53:6—”and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.” Neither trusts in the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. Neither understand the goodness of God’s Word and how, in Christ, we are credited with His perfect obedience. Neither walk in the way of the gospel—they both stray from it.
As you talk with your kids about how Isaiah preached about Jesus the Messiah 700 years before His birth, help them remember their need for Jesus. We are all sheep who have gone astray who need the gospel. Every one of us needs Jesus. Help your kids understand that it was their wandering away from God that prompted Jesus to give up His life and that in Jesus they are completely forgiven and accepted by God. Remind them of the gospel!
Are you more of a cook or a baker when it comes to the gospel? Leave a comment below.
Here is more help for leaders preparing for the October 2, 2016 session (Unit 13, Session 5) of The Gospel Project for Kids.
Brian Dembowczyk is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. He served in local church ministry for over 16 years before coming to LifeWay. Brian earned an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Brian, his wife, Tara, and their three children—Joshua, Hannah, and Caleb—live in Murfreesboro, TN, where Brian enjoys drinking coffee and teaching 4-5 graders at City Church.