During this week we are all in remembrance of Jesus, and how He came into this world, knowing that He was going to have to be beaten, flogged, and crucified by His own people. It is important that if you do not know just how much an importance you are to the Prince of Peace, let me inform you today. We are going to read and soak in the compelling words of Isaiah 53, so you can really absorb the truth about how much of the pain Jesus went through, was for a worthy cause.
“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. Isaiah 53:2
Jesus came into the world in the form of a baby, just like you and me. I am sure Abba would have wanted Jesus to ascend down to heaven on a radiant, white horse with angelic melodies playing behind Him, but no. He was born in a ragged stable. God appointed Mary as a symbolic image of purity, and she was given the privilege to bore God’s own Son. As time went on, Jesus was still unknown to many parts of the world. Every new city he discovered, no one seemed to recognize His true identity. He appeared in the form of man, but was truly a God. Jesus chose to have His human shape be more of His image because he wanted to relate to us, to connect and be vulnerable with us. He did not want to come off as intimidating or unapproachable. Nothing about His old, brown sandals and cloth robe oozed the appearance of a Messiah. I think the keen message that Jesus displayed is, the heart of a person is greater than the looks of a person.
“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.” Isaiah 53:3
Jesus’s whole mission was to be a servant. He vowed that He would use His human days to be working for God, to carry out His will, and to make sure that every single person that crossed His path knew of the unconditional love and the power of God’s Word was bestowed inside their hearts. Yet, though He was good and kind, many people, especially synagogue leaders despised Jesus, and made it their life goal to make sure He and His teachings were put to death. They, or we, could not understand that if we choose to merely live on our choices, we are sinning against God. No one likes to be told they are in the wrong, so we try in our own power to destroy that. We despise the fact that when we look into our own reflection, we have to face the ugliness within us: pride, greed, pain, fear, lust. So many bad attributes that should have never resided within us, that make our hearts black as dirt. We thought our own man-made laws were good, and Jesus’s was not worth the trouble.
“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.”
Think of that moment. Think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, being tormented by his immense anxiety, wanting it to all stop. Yet, he knew he had to complete the mission. Think of that moment. Where Jesus was chained to a wooden stake, beaten horridly by a spiked flog, literally skin being ripped off of his back. Yet, he knew he had to complete the mission. Think of that moment. When Jesus was carrying that heavy cross. That cross was full of our sin, our lust, our shame, our pain, our guilt. He carried every weight of the world on his bare shoulders, knees weak and eyes blurred. Yet, he knew he had to complete the mission. Think of that moment. When the nails pierced into Jesus’s bones and His chest being ripped apart for being hanged for hours. When he looked to heaven and asked his Father, “My God, my God? Why have you forsaken me?” Yet, he knew he completed the mission.
And, with his last breath, the veil that separated us from God was stripped away. We can now enter the glorious presence of God, because of Jesus. You were worth the torture. His love for you outweighs anything in the world.