Friday, April 6, 2012
“Yet, it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of light and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong because he poured out his life unto death and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sins of many and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53: 10-12 (NIV)
“Yet, it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,” God planned this to happen because the people on earth hadn’t listened to the prophets and others who spoke of His love for those on earth.
“. . . though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days,” The Lord Jesus will see those who follow Him again. When we get to heaven we will SEE Jesus. One aspect of heaven I look forward to is the fact that time is irrelevant- we won’t be controlled by having to do certain tasks according to what the clock or the calendar says.
“Therefore I will give him a portion among the great. . .” God made Jesus’ name the greatest name next to His because of their relationship and the fact that Jesus willingly ceded His will over to the Father.
“. . . because he poured out his life unto death and was numbered with the transgressors.” Jesus devoted His ministry years to telling God’s story and sharing that life with those the world considered unworthy-the sinners, the derelicts, the poor and downtrodden.
“For he bore the sins of many and made intercession for the transgressors.” Jesus, as he hung on the cross took our sins-yours and mine- and made them His own. Our Lord interceded for US. He still stands in for us today and seeks God’s forgiveness for us-His children saved by His grace.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
“By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence nor was any deceit in his mouth. Isaiah 53: 7-8 (NIV)
“For he was cut off from the land of the living;” God took His Son away from life here on earth. He removed Jesus from the lives of those who followed Him. In light of what they saw happen, those disciples felt intense sadness. No, not all of them were true to Jesus. They loved Him and felt great loss.
“ . . . though he had done no violence nor was any deceit in his mouth.” What made this event hard for the disciples was the fact that Jesus was perfect- no one has been able to make that claim before or since. Even one of the thieves on a nearby cross recognized Christ’s perfection.
We now understand the reason behind God’s decision to allow His Son to die such a horrible death. He let this transpire because of His love for us-His children, for those who would come to worship Him in the future, and for those yet to know Him.
We know we won’t fully understand the reason Your Son chose to shed His blood for our sins; but we thank You for the fact He did. Thank You for that great love You have given us. We praise You for Who You are. In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquities of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted yet he did not open his mouth, he was lead like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53: 6-7 (NIV)
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;” Throughout history, man has had a sort of ‘love-hate’ relationship with God and His laws. When the people were in exile, they seemed to become enthralled with the idol worship and pagan gods of those nations who held them captive.
Even in the 21st Century, we see people who have chosen to ‘go their own way.’ Honestly speaking, we probably don’t have to look very far to see someone who has done this- even, maybe ourselves.
"the Lord has laid on him the iniquities of us all.” God put on Jesus all the gross injustices that we have done to one another-disrespect of property, willful harm to others, defamation of another’s character. Our heavenly Father knew we’d need a Savior. He watched us as we missed the mark He had set for us. But He loves us so much that he allowed His Son to come down here and live among us peasants in order to permit us to become pure and chaste, unblemished by sin, in His eyes.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hid their faces he was despised and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him.” Isaiah 53: 3-5 (NIV)
As we reflect upon the last week of our Lord’s earthly life, we read of His last week on earth. We hear again the story of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The people regaled Him as a conquering hero, a reigning king. But the fickleness of the crowd turned them into an ugly mob.
The prophet Isaiah describes Jesus as one who was “despised and rejected by men” The chief priests and those who taught the Mosaic Law plotted His demise because He revealed the shortcomings of their practices to the masses.
God’s Son was “familiar with suffering,” He endured a death reserved for the most heinous of criminals. The practice was after the criminal had died, the soldiers broke the person’s legs in order to insure that the process was complete.
Before they placed Jesus on the cross, he endured scourging and beatings to the place He most likely looked grotesque. The rebel rousers-aka, the religious leaders, brought the onlookers to such frenzy that, except for His closest followers, they didn’t care about Him.
We often ask, “Why?” Jesus, God’s Son “took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,” we don’t fully understand unless we study God’s word. Early on in our relationship with Jesus, we wonder why God allowed this horrific event. Friends, the prophet Isaiah spells it out for us;
“. . . he was pierced for our transgressions.” The message of the movie, The Passion of The Christ that our sins put Jesus on the cross, makes it personal for me. I believe that Christ died for each misguided thought I had, every unkind word I ever said, each careless action I ever took.
“he was crushed for our iniquities;” The wickedness of our collective sin caused our Savior to cry out to His Father, “Why have you forsaken me?"
“the punishment that brought us peace was upon him.” Don’t you find it strange that Jesus’ punishment is what brought peace to us? This was God’s plan from the beginning. I am thankful God had this in mind. Where would we be had he not?
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