A Powerful Mystery: What is the Significance of the Promised Zeroah?
This is my favorite time of the year. It speaks to me of hope and the renewed cycle of life.
For both Jews and Christians, it is a time to celebrate the mighty arm of God.
Sometimes we feel confused. Is God a capricious old man who uses His power to torment and shame? Or is God intrinsically good? So much suffering around us seems to shout God is cruel.
But truth is more exciting than fiction. Come with me to explore something mysterious and wonderful that reveals the character of God in a powerful way.
Passover is a beautiful picture of the loving kindness of the Heavenly Father’s grace demonstrated through His righteous right arm.
A few years ago, I discovered a fascinating word. Zeroah was first used of God’s mighty outstretched arm as He delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt.
The Lord said, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm (zeroah), and with great judgments” (Exodus 6:6).
The Lord raised up Moses to become the visible expression of His mighty outstretched arm (zeroah) to lead the people through the Red Sea, which became a visible picture of death to slavery and a rising again to a life of freedom.
But that deliverance happened centuries ago. What does God’s Zeroah have to do with you and me?
Mystery of the Zeroah
You and I were born into slavery to sin. We each need deliverance, for no matter how hard we try, we still sin.
In His compassion, because God is good, He didn’t leave us in our mess or our slavery. Even as He did for Israel, He reached down to us through His mighty Zeroah.
The Zeroah is the stretched out mighty arm of the LORD, symbolic of power, might, and strength. God, who is Love, created the heavens by His Zeroah (Jeremiah 32:17).
As I followed the word Zeroah through Scripture, I was fascinated to find Isaiah asked this crucial question in Isaiah 53, “Who has believed our report and to whom is the Zeroah [the arm] of the LORD revealed?”
My attention was caught. Transfixed I read on. Isaiah answered his question with a beautiful and poignant prophesy – not about a physical arm, but about the Zĕrowa זְרוֹעַ, the Person who would one day come to Israel.
“He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground: He has no form nor comeliness; when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him.”
Isaiah explains we rejected the Zeroah, He did not reject us.
“[The Zeroah] He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:1-5).
The word Zeroah changes everything. If the Zeroah of God is a Man, not just a body part, then the Zeroah is the promised Messiah.
Isaiah prophesied, the Zeroah would suffer and die in our place. The Zeroah, who is the Man of sorrows can be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ!
Jesus, who is God, led Israel out of Egypt, but He is also the physical representation of God’s mighty righteous arm, the Zeroah God extended to redeem us from the curse of the law. Jesus was without sin. Because He is righteous, He conquered sin and death and Sheol.
Jesus always chose to do the will of Father God. Without shame, He humbled Himself, refusing to strive or self-protect, even though it meant He became sin for us and died a cruel death on the Cross.
The Zeroah is the Messiah, who communicates to us the heart of His Father. To me, this is very precious. Jesus is our hope!
God demonstrated His love when we were yet sinners. We were alienated from Him, so in mercy, He reached down into time and space through Christ. Jesus was born of a virgin and grew up to become a man who lived a perfect life. In fulfillment of prophecy in Isaiah 53, Jesus died to redeem us from our bondage to sin.
My dear friend, the tomb is empty. Jesus is the Zeroah of God, who you and I despised and rejected. Jesus is the Pascal Lamb, who was sacrificed to redeem us from sin. Jesus, as Son of God and Son of Man, is the mighty right arm of God. Jesus is the Zeroah who died and rose from the grave!
Isaiah also speaks of the Lord individually feeding His flock like a shepherd, gathering the lambs with His arm (zeroah), carrying them in His bosom, and gently leading those with young. (Isaiah 40:11). A beautiful picture of Jesus, the Zeroah of God.
I pray the wonder of Isaiah 53 touches your heart and you allow THE Zeroah to touch you heart. God will deliver you from death and birth you to a new life as His own child by the redemptive work of the Zeroah.
If you have questions, feel free to write me. I suggest you read Isaiah 53 and the Gospel of John as you begin your journey to life.
I also pray you experience the wonder of the eternal God becoming your refuge, and finding underneath you are the everlasting zeroah, the arms of our beloved Lord Jesus, who is the Zeroah! (Deuteronomy 33:27a).