Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Suffering Servant

Isaiah 53.

The Suffering Servant.

Do you know Him?
Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.

He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.

He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.

But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.
I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

Maybe you’ve read this. Maybe you’ve pondered what it says. Maybe you’ve read it once and forgotten the weight that it holds.

Here is the story of Jesus Christ; a story that was told even before His birth.

He was a servant that grew in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot; but in dry ground. It says that there was nothing beautiful or majestic about Him. Imagine that? There was nothing to attract us to Him. He came into this world looking as you and I; there was nothing that would have given away who He was.

Because He didn’t come as a dictator, ruler or conqueror, He was despised and rejected. When was the last time that you’ve heard those words used? This man that came to save us from ourselves is said to be a man of sorrows; that He was acquainted with deepest grief. Mourning and sadness were dear friends. And what did those around Him do? What do we still do today? We have turned our backs on Him. We looked the other way.

This passage goes on to say that we didn’t care. We showed no concern for the burdens that weighed Him down. Notice what it says next? Yet it was our weaknesses He carried. We were the reason for His distress, and do you know what we did? We blamed His suffering on His own actions. The leaders charged Him with blasphemy and said that He had sinned against God and that His death was the punishment. People thought that His suffering was caused because He, a normal man with no particular feature of beauty, called Himself the Son of God.

So, He was brutally punished. He was pierced, why? So we could be whole. He was whipped, why? So we could be healed. And for what? All of us (yes the Bible says that ALL of us) have strayed away. He came as the Good Shepherd to care for His sheep, and we left Him; we abandoned Him. And even after the neglect, God still allowed His Son take away our sins.

The Bible says that while His suffering occurred, Jesus never said a word. He never opened His mouth. Even when all of these outrageous charges were being brought against Him, our Savior was quiet. And then He was led away. Not one of us cared that He had no children to carry His name; no one cared that His life was being brought to a close before He had a chance to have descendants. He had never sinned, and yet He was treated like a criminal, killed like a criminal and buried like a criminal.

But what they didn’t know is that God’s plan had already been set in motion and Christ’s line would reign forever and all eternity; His eternal kingdom.

It says that when Jesus sees what His suffering accomplished, that He will be satisfied. Because of Jesus Christ, each one of us is able to attain righteousness; not because we deserve it, but because He thinks we are worth it. He bore the sins of this world so that we could be free.

Jesus interceded on our behalf. And because of that, He now sits at the right hand of God; in His rightful place.

As a KING.


Let us remember what our Lord and Savior suffered that day on Calvary. He came as a servant, in Your Name and we punished Him for it. We denied that He could be Your Son, and we rejected Him. Why Lord, would You still show mercy to us who don’t deserve it? We don’t deserve Your love, grace or mercy and yet, You offer it. Thank You for Your promises and the hope that You’ve given us. I know that none of us is righteous enough on our own, but Lord, with You by our side, we can stand tall. Your blessings are greater than I can ever count or even imagine and Your favor for me never ceases to amaze. Father, I pray that You would give me a heart, fashioned after Yours. Break my heart for what breaks Yours, and keep me in constant thought about all the great things You do. Those who walked the earth in the past may not have been able to see the beauty that Christ held, but Lord, I do. Not just in His appearance, but in the works that He did and the words that He said. He is beautiful,  and it’s His beauty that will save the world.

In Jesus’ Name,


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with love.