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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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Isaiah 50:4-9a

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, led by the Holy Spirit, wrote about the coming Messiah as the Obedient Servant. He would be a bold teacher whose words would bring comfort to the weary (verse 4). He would be willing to endure pain and punishment for the sake of others (verse 6), but He would be proven innocent (verse 8).

Jesus Christ is the Obedient Servant.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)

As followers of Christ, we are called to put aside our worldly ways and be obedient to God.

What is He asking of you? Is He calling you to turn off the television and spend time reading His word? Does He want you to give up a few hours on the weekend and volunteer somewhere in your community? Or is He leading you to change your lifestyle in some way? Perhaps He’s wants you to share the gospel with a neighbor.

Obedience is difficult, but if God is directing you He will also help you (verse 9).

Lord God, You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be obedient to death on the cross. Help us today to hear Your call, and confidently obey Your words. May our lives reflect Your love to others. We ask this through Jesus Christ and with the help of the Holy Spirit. Amen.