Read Isaiah 52:13-15
Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you--his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind--so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.
· How do these verses make you feel? How should the reality of the crucifixion change the way you live as a Christian?
· Express what the crucifixion of Christ means to you. Share your testimony with someone.
· Do you trust that Jesus loves you and forgives you regardless of your struggles?
Writing several hundred years before Jesus was born, Isaiah paints for us a picture of Christ's suffering. He tells us that the suffering will be so extreme the Servant will no longer look human. He will be painfully abused, wounded and crushed.
Many of these words have become so common to us, as we hear them repeated especially at Easter. We hear of Christ's suffering and picture the cross and maybe the crown of thorns. Yet His crucifixion and death wasn't the only way Jesus suffered. He experienced hate and rejection well before His arrest. In fact, in Isaiah 53:3 we read that "his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering." His prayers in the garden of Gethsemane show us His anguish at knowing what suffering was ahead.
It's sobering and painful to even think about what Jesus endured. At times it's even incomprehensible. Thankfully, God helps us make sense of all this suffering by inspiring Isaiah to include the "why." Isaiah tells us that through Jesus, we are able to (1) worship without fear, (2) see and think about things we've never seen or imagined before, (3) receive forgiveness for our sins, (4) live in the freedom of God's grace. May we all appreciate today what God's Servant did for us all.
Gracious Lord, your love for us is greater than we can sometimes comprehend. Help me to understand on a very deep level today how and why Jesus suffered. Please help me also to live as one forgiven and transformed by Christ. Amen.