At Jesus baptism, a voice speaks from heaven and says, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:8) The voice (aka God the Father) echoes Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1. What makes this astounding is the two radically different people these two passages refer to.
Psalm 2 refers to God’s great anointed King who will rule forever over God’s people and shatter all God’s enemies. It is a psalm about the enthronement of the godly king and the futility of rebelling against him.
Isaiah 42 is quite different. Isaiah 42 introduces us to the suffering servant of God who is crushed and bruised and beaten. He dies for the sins of others and wounded for others’ transgressions. He is smitten, afflicted and led to the slaughter (see Isaiah 53).
At Jesus’ baptism, God the Father makes it clear that both the king and the servant are combined in Jesus. Jesus is God’s king who will rule forever and who will smash his enemies. Jesus is also the servant who establishes his rule by dying and rising again. Jesus dies for the sins of others so that others may join him in his kingdom.
Many first century people failed to see the irony of Jesus. They failed to see that glory and suffering must go together. Have you understood the irony?
The word “gospel” was not a particularly Christian word at the time of the writing of the New Testament in the first Century Roman Empire.
Gospel was simply the word used for momentous news of a historic event that would no doubt bring a new situation or circumstances. For example, the news of a new Emperor being crowned was called gospel, as was the news of victory in battle by the Roman legions, ushering in a era of relative peace.