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Archive for December 10th, 2021

Isaiah 53 is a dearly held biblical text, outlining the prophesy of the Messiah to come, in the person of Jesus. It is the fourth of the Servant Songs of Isaiah (preceded by chapters 42, 49 and 50). It is not necessarily a warm and fuzzy read, for it describes and details the suffering of this Savior/Servant.

Some writings say this passage (like the other Servant Songs) is referring to the Jewish people, the Jewish nation as the servant. But, there is a distinctive difference in this passage, from the others … the first three are talking to a community the third is talking about a person.

I love this passage (especially verses 1-6) as written in the Message, for it is in your face gritty. There is no fluff … caution in the use of words to describe the Servant/Savior is thrown to the wind.

The Servant/Savior (who is Jesus) is described in quite unflattering terms :

  • a scrawny seedling
  • a scrubby plant
  • nothing attractive about him
  • nothing to cause a second look
  • looked down on
  • passed over
  • a man who suffered
  • who knew pain firsthand
  • one look at him and people turned away
  • looked down on him
  • thought he was scum

… and that is just the first impressions!

This passage reminds me who I am, as a human.

I look at the outer, the obvious. I am judgemental. I am quick to judge based on what I can see. I am BLIND to the truth! And aren’t we all?

What follows in this passage is what this Servant/Savior does for me, for those of us who judge him so cruelly.

  • it was our pain he carried
  • our disfigurements (he carried)
  • all the things wrong with us (he carried)
  • he was ripped (because of our sins)
  • he was tore (because of our sins)
  • he was crushed (because of our sins)
  • he took our punishment
  • he was bruised for our healing
  • our sins, everything we’ve done wrong … piled on him

This is Christmas …

And God 
has piled all our sins,
everything
we’ve done wrong,
on him,
on him.

Isaiah 53:1-6 (Message)

Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?

The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him.

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