Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Suffering Servant

Image: Hans_Hofer / pixabay.com
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 50:1-11

TO CHEW ON: "'For the Lord God will help Me;
Therefore I will not be disgraced;
Therefore I have set My face like a flint
And know that I will not be ashamed.'" Isaiah 50:7


In this third Servant Song (Isaiah 50:4-9) we see the human and suffering Servant. It's not hard to recognize parallels from this passage in Jesus' and His life.

  • From Isaiah: "'The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned…'" (Isaiah 50:4)
From Jesus' life: already by the age of 12 He was known for His words. In them He demonstrated:

- Understanding: "And all who heard Him were astonished ad His understanding and answers" - Luke 2:47.

- Grace: "So all … marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of HIs mouth" - Luke 4:22.

- Authority: "… His word was with authority" - Luke 4:32.

- Life: "'The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life'" - John 6:63.

  • From Isaiah "… a word in season to him who is weary" (Isaiah 50:4):
Jesus said: "'Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest'" - Matthew 11:28.

  • From Isaiah: "'He awakens Me morning by morning…" (Isaiah 50:4)
It was said of Jesus: "Now in the morning having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed" - Mark 1:35. See also Luke 5:16. 

  • From Isaiah "'I gave My back to those who struck Me, / And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; / I did not hide My face from shame and spitting'" (Isaiah 50:6):
This happened to Jesus: "So then Pilate took Jesus and had Him scourged (flogged, whipped) and they slapped Him in the face" - John 19:1,3 AMP.

And this: "Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands…" Matthew 26:67.
  • From Isaiah "'For the Lord God will help Me; / Therefore I will not be disgraced; / Therefore I have set My face like a flint / And I know that I will not be ashamed'" (Isaiah 50: 7):
Compare Jesus' words from the cross: "'My God, My God, why have You forsaken me…'?" - Matthew 27:46 (when it seemed that He had been disgraced) to this triumph after His resurrection: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth…'" Matthew 28:18-29.

There is something very reassuring about finding these prophetic words about the Servant's (Jesus's) suffering and eventual victory. Keeping them in mind as we read the story of Jesus' passion helps us understand that what happened that weekend in Jerusalem 2000+ hears ago was a planned, intentional chain of events, put into motion by the God who loves us and in this way purchased our salvation.

He knew/knows our lives in the same prophetic, beforehand way. We are not some chance or random blip on the radar of time, but planned pieces of the puzzle that is making the picture God has designed and knows from eternity past.

PRAYER:
Dear God, thank You for this picture of Jesus, given hundreds of years before the cross. Help me to trust Your plan for me, especially when it seems to make no sense. Amen.

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Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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