Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Isaiah 53:8

By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?

(ESV)

All you have to do is study history for a little while before you realize that oppression and judgment have almost always been around. And even the savior of the world fell prey to these aspects of this world we live in.

He was really beaten. He was really crucified. He really did hang there and say thte things that He said. He really shouted, "It is finished!" And it really was finished, so don't forget today that He suffered, and that these things that He suffered were for the transgressions of His people.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Isaiah 53:7

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.

(ESV)

In I Peter 2:21-25, Peter uses this as an example of how we are to behave and submit, even in times of suffering. But Peter adds some insight into the way that Christ was able to "...answer not a word." He tells us that, "When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly."

Refraining from retaliation does not mean that you are a doormat. Sure, you may look like a sheep going to slaughter, but you do it knowing that you are entrusting yourself to THE Judge... The Judge who judges justly.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Isaiah 53:6

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

(ESV)

Just like sheep, we have all gone astray. We have all gone our own way. Each of us has chosen our own way of life. We make our own decisions. But the ways that we have gone are ways that are "astray". They are not the paths of life.

God has laid on Jesus Christ the sins of us all. All of our "going astrays" have been placed on Him.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Isaiah 53:5

But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

(ESV)
This is it. In this verse is the salvation of all of mankind. It is the gospel message, clear and simple, from Isaiah.

Going through this verse, so we don't miss a thing:

Why was He wounded? For our transgressions. The word "transgressions" is referring to our rebellion. We are rebelling against God. The word "wounded" is referring to a fatal wound. It could also be translated "pierced through."

Why was He crushed? For our iniquities. The word "iniquities" is referring to our depravity. We are totally depraved. The word "crushed" literally means crushed or broken.

What did this chastisement bring? Peace for us. The word "peace" is referring to our "wholeness, completeness, or soundness." Chastisement is talking about "Discipline." Understand it this way. Discipline brings a restored wholeness. He was disciplined for us. This fixes that rebellion problem.

What did His stripes bring? Healing for us. The word "healing" is literally referring to health, which we are in desperate need of because of our depravity. The word "stripes" is referring to the stripes or scourging.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Isaiah 53:4

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.

(ESV)

Jesus Christ came to the World. We know what He did here for us on the cross, but don't forget that He also was HERE.  He was born.  He grew up.  He lived.  Then He died.  He was HERE.  He fulfilled His name, Immanuel (God with us).  He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows in more ways than just on the cross.  This is why the book of Hebrews calls Him a "compassionate High Priest," because He has been here, yet without sin.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Isaiah 53:3

He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

(ESV)

When Christ walked this earth, there were many who followed Him.  There were multitudes that came to where He was.  They wanted to see Him, they wanted Him the be the messiah that they thought they needed, but He was something different.  Jesus came and fulfilled a deeper need than most people even knew that they had.  

Do you see Jesus as He really is, or do you make the Messiah into your own image?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Isaiah 53:2

For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.

(ESV)

We know that this passage is referring to the Messiah, to Jesus.

Jesus came into this world in humility.  He could have arrived in so many different ways, but He chose to arrive as a baby in a manger.  We have glorified that scene, but it would not have been glorious at the time.

He didn't come with anything that would naturally attract us to Him, so that His followers might be true followers of Him.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Isaiah 53:1

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

(ESV)

In the NIV it says, "Who has believed our message?" And that is the question when it draws close to Christmas. There is a message. There is a meaning.

It is more than "the spirit of Christmas" or "It's all about giving not getting." Those things fall so far short of the message, and if you go down that road, you have missed the true message.

I am hoping that Isaiah 53 will help me to remember the message.