Isaiah 6:1-7 says, “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
We’ve spent the past week looking into these stunning verses. Today we end.
Lastly, notice that we see pardon. Though Isaiah beheld God’s perfections that did not keep him from confessing his own imperfections. After the woe he pronounces upon himself we read in 6:6-7, “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” This doesn’t make sense. I mean, what judge in any county would keep his job if he forgave sin and didn’t punish lawbreakers? As a judge you can’t just sweep sin under the rug. How much more is at stake when it is God, the just Judge of all the universe, taking away sin from Isaiah?
This coal was taken from the altar of atonement, and with it God removed the sin of Isaiah, as far as the east is from the west, so much so that Isaiah himself can say in his own book “though your sins be like scarlet, God can make you white as snow (Isa. 1:18). This doesn’t make sense – until we read John 12:41. John, after quoting out of Isaiah about Jesus in John 12:36-40, says in 12:41, “Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke of Him.” What does this mean? What did John just say? He said very simply, and clearly, that when Isaiah saw the Lord high and exalted, sitting on His throne, watching the train of His robe fill the temple, beholding angelic beings worship Him crying Holy, Holy, Holy – John is saying that Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus, and after seeing it, Jesus in His majestic holiness, pardons Isaiah and applies the forgiveness He Himself would one day purchase for His people on the cross.
Remember, God’s glory is the radiance (or the shining-forth) of his holiness, the out-streaming of His incomparable worth. In whom does the glory of God shine out of in the clearest and greatest manner possible?
Therefore, Jesus, the Son of God, is infinitely precious and valuable above all other things because He is (as Hebrews 1:3 states, “the exact representation of God’s being, and the radiance of the glory of God.”
Nothing is more beautiful than this, nothing is more practical for your life than this, “One new discovery of the glory of Christ’s face and the fountain of his sweet grace and love will do more towards scattering clouds of darkness and doubting in one minute than anything else.”