Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Isaiah 50:4-9a (ESV)

4 The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
6 I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.
7 But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.
9 Behold, the Lord God helps me;
who will declare me guilty?

The prophet Isaiah provides a picture of our Lord and Savior as a humble, suffering servant, one who was not rebellious but submitted Himself to the will of God, giving His back to those who strike, and His cheeks to those who pull out the beard. He did not hide His face from disgrace and spitting.

The very people He came to save would torture Him, and crucify Him; and He endured it all because He loves us. He was not guilty of any sin. Yet He bore the wrath of God for our sin, on our behalf, once and for all—for all sinners and for all sin. No exceptions.

When the soldiers were striking Jesus, spitting on Him and mocking Him, He did not lash out or defend Himself. Rather, He endured the pain and the disgrace for you, His dear child, knowing that you would be redeemed by His humble submission to God’s will. He knew that one day He would stand before Almighty God and present you as pure and holy, blameless and innocent, a child of God without blemish or stain.

And that is all that mattered to Him.

If you were the only sinner in the world, Jesus would have died on the cross to save you, and you alone. That is the promise we have in Jesus. That is the joy of His salvation. That is the fullness of His love, and the extent of His mercy and grace.

I confess to You, gracious Father, that I have sinned. Cover me with the blood of Christ, forgive my sin, that I may worship You in all Your majesty, now and forevermore.

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