So I am a few days behind. With our rather "exciting" and heart stopping moment at camp with Hailey last Thursday, and then I spoke at Camp on Friday and drove home Saturday and crashed Sunday, I have a little catching up to do.
Isaiah 53. There is not much more I can say about this passage, but I am positive it had a huge impact on Jesus.
It laid out exactly who he was, why he was here, what he was going to suffer, why he had to suffer, and the satisfaction it would all bring him and God.
Who was he?
Tender, not lovely to look on. Not majestic. Despised. Rejected. Familiar with suffering. His body could get sick and his heart ached like ours in sorrowful times (like losing his earthly father). He was considered stricken (unfavored) by God.
What was he here?
To be pierced. To be crushed.
What would he suffer?
Oppression. Affliction. Slaughter.
Why would he suffer?
For the transgressions of other people. Because It was the will of his Father and nothing stopped God from having His way (Jesus had already learned this previously)
Why would this bring Jesus satisfaction?
Because he would "see the offspring and prolong his days and Gods will would prosper in his hands. After the suffer Mt of his soul, he will see the light of his life (what he accomplished for his Father) and he will be satisfied!" 53:10-11
Jesus also learned what his end would be!!!
"By his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore (I love this part) I WILL (a promise Jesus could cling to) give him a portion among the great, and he will (another promise) divide the spoils with the numerous sting!" 53:11-12
Jesus leaned into these words as he learned the meaning and purpose of his life. These words told him that the world would not think much of him, but God was going to be satisfied in him and be proud of what he was going to accomplish. As Jesus allowed these words to impact him, it gave him courage to make a vital choice. The choice to choose please God over man and thus redeeming my soul!
I pray today that these words would also impact me. This through them I would learn not to seek the "majesty" and approval of this world, but rather give myself to be like Jesus, despised, rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, always with my eyes on what Jesus was looking at! The smile his life of suffering would put on the face of God, his Father!
"Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David." Isaiah 55:3
Wow, how this must have truly impacted Jesus. As he is growing into the man he is to become, as he is figuring things out, realizing his purpose, here are words that must have gripped his soul!
"Give ear!" (Listen up Jesus!)
"Come to me!" (Draw in closer Jesus)
"Hear me!" (Jesus, I need you to know what I am about to say is for you!)
"That your soul may live!" (I AM here to give you real life, so hear My words!)
"I will" (Jesus, the words that follow are my promise to you, and you have learned by now that I always keep my promises!)
"Make an everlasting Covenant" (what I am about to do Jesus will last forever and nothing will ever stop it!)
"With you" (Jesus, you are The One and I am going to make this covenant with You. Not anyone else, you my dearly Beloved!)
"My faithful love promised to David!" (Jesus, do you remember how I told David one of his descendants would reign on the throne forever because of how much I loved him! You Jesus are the fulfillment of this promise.)
"See, . . . I have made him a leader and commander of the people's." (Yes Jesus, you are the One I am referring to.) Isaiah 55:4
"Because the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, he has endowed you with splendor!" 55:5
How these words must have lifted Jesus into what we would call "cloud 9." These words sank deep into his heart and pressed him forward even when his spirit was troubled and tired. He had been given purpose that was combined with a promise. They gave him hope and solidified his trust in His Father.
And in Him we have been given the same. In Him we have been told to "Give ear and come to our Father, to hear Him that we may truly live. God has made an everlasting covenant with Jesus, and all who are "in Him" are co heirs of this promise! And in Christ we have been endowed with splendor just like Jesus!
I pray today that I live my life clinging to these truths. I pray that I give eat! That I come and hear, so that I may truly live. I pray that like Jesus I "Seek the Lord while He can be found and that I call on Him while He is near!" 55:6
Still playing catch up. Thanks for your patience.
"The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands. . ."
I have often wondered, "God why would you take that person away? Why would you allow death to grab ahold of one who loved you so much?
I wonder if Jesus did not ask the same question as a young boy/ man. What must he have thought when a friend died as a child or when Joseph was taken away from them? I imagine Jesus probably had the same questions we do: "Why God?"
But Jesus learned the answer to this question and he clung to it, especially as he faced his own death. The rest of verse 1-2 in Isaiah 57 told him the "why!"
"The righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death." 57:1-2
Our view of the death of a righteous person is different than Gods. From his point of view, death is a gift. Giving peace and rest to His beloved child. The burdens Jesus bore as a righteous man in an unrighteous world would have been heavy. The burden of sin he bore in the cross was almost unbearable. However, because he was righteous, his death came quickly and he forever entered a place of peace and rest.
But that is not all Jesus learned from Isaiah 57. Look at verse 13
"But the man who makes me his refuge will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain."
Here Jesus again was given the promise of what he would inherit so long as he chose God as his refuge.
Verse 15 says; "I (God) live in a high and holy place (a place Jesus longed to be in order to be with his Dad), BUT I also live with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the heart of the lowly and the heart of the contrite."
Jesus desperately longed to dwell with his Father while here on earth, and in this simple promise, he learned how he could dwell with his Dad even while in his humanity. His had to remain lowly in heart and contrite in spirit.
How I too long to dwell with my Father. And like Jesus I pray that I learn to be lowly in heart and contrite in spirit so that God may dwell with me and teach me the truths of his ways!
"The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him and his own righteousness sustained him." Isaiah 59:15-16
If ever Jesus wondered "Dad, why did I have to come do this job?" Here is his answer. As he grew in wisdom and understanding, grasping the full weight of his purpose here in earth, he had to wonder in his own mind if there surely was not a different way. He even asked this very question in The garden just before his death (Father if there is any other way!). But here, through words written hundreds of year before, Jesus is taught the answer to why he had to come -
"There was no one to intervene!"
God desperately wanted to be with His people, but sin had separated them. He looked for someone to intervene, but found no one worthy or able. Therefore, His own arm (Jesus) worked salvation for him and his own righteousness sustained him!
Jesus literally came as the Lords arm to work out salvation so God and his people could be restored to each other. It was an impossible job for any mere man, and not even Jesus could pull it off unless he was "sustained" by the righteousness of his Father.
Jesus knew his only hope was for God the Father to keep him, but here in this passage he also learned he was responsible for his part in the relationship as well. Yes, his Father would use him to work out the salvation, yes his Father's righteousness would sustain him, but like any soldier, Jesus learned he had to prepare for the battle. Therefore . . .
"He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak!"
Jesus gave his entire being, his entire passion, to living righteously before his Father. He trusted in his Mighty Refuge to be his salvation. He set his face like a flint to destroy the one who had come between his Father and his people and he wrapped himself in zeal, a fierce determination, to accomplish what he had been sent to do!
Because of this, God the Father proclaimed this over his son.
"My Spirit, who is in you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or the mouths of your children, or the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the Lord.
What a promise. What Love. What passion. What determination. What hope. What trust.
I pray that I would learn, like Jesus, to put on the Armor of God, dress myself in zeal, and trust in the Spirit of the Living God the dwells in me to work through me in order to bring about the salvation of His people, which is the desire of His heart!
7/20/17 catch up bonus
The Scriptures are so rich with the wonders of God. Every word written prior to Jesus' birth was placed there for a purpose in his life. To guide him. Direct Him. Teach him and show him his purpose.
I love Isaiah 61 and I think Jesus did too! In it he first learns that "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord was on him and had anointed him to proclaim good news!" 61:1
Wow! What power and boldness must have enveloped Jesus as he grasp the reality that the Spirit of God was on him. And oh what joy and confidence to realize it was the Sovereign Lord who had anointed him for his work! All I can say is Wow!
Surely Jesus had to wonder "who" it was that he had been sent to save. A brilliant plan from man's perspective might have been to go for the "top brass" and leaders in order to effect change in the entire country. But in Isaiah 61, Jesus learned his Father had a different plan.
So who did he learn was the aim and goal of the salvation God longed to bring?
The Poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, prisoners! He was sent to comfort the mourners, provide for the grievers. To "bestow a crown of beauty" on them. To anoint them with oil of gladness. He was sent to clothe them in a "garment of praise". He was sent to prepare these people to be displayed as Gods splendor!
Oh what joy must have flooded his soul as Jesus looked around and saw so many poor and needy and those who mourned. He realized his life would bring hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless. All around him were the mourners and prisoners. He was surrounded by those held captive. And his heart yearned to see them enjoy a love relationship with his Father. And according to this passage, he was promised he would fulfill his mission. That is why Jesus could rejoice and sing these words:
"I delight greatly in the Lord, for my soul rejoiced in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in robes of Righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and a bride adorns herself with her jewels For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes a seed to grow, so the Sovereign Lord WILL Make (a promise) righteousness and praise spring up before all nations." 61:10-11
Jesus was promised that if he gave himself to proclaim the good news to the poor, broken-hearted, captives, prisoners, mourners, and grievers, that His Father would keep His promise and make righteousness and praise spring up in "all the world."
How Jesus' life reflected the power of the impact this passage had on him. He was always loving the poor, helping the needy and sick, touching the broken and encouraging the hurting. He told them the good news of Gods amazing love for them and of His desire to dwell with them, and therefore, he has been clothed in salvation and righteousness which he now shares with all who believe in Him!
Oh, that my life would reflect the heart of God and my prayer is that I would be impacted as Jesus was to proclaim the good news to the ones the world considers a "lost cause!"
"I will tell of the kindness of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us!" Isaiah 63:7
Jesus' life personified these words. As he walked on earth, he could not help but praise his Father for all He had done! His very life was a reminder of the kindness of the Lord and the deeds for which God was to be praised. His heart sang within him as he peered at the beauty of a sunrise or sunset. As he read the history written by Moses and David, he could not help but be in awe of how God moved on behalf of His people. With all these things treasured in his heart, he simply had to sing of the wonders of the Lord!
I imagine one of his songs of praise sounded like this:
"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him!" Isaiah 64:4
I pray today that my heart is captivated by the wonders of the Lord and that my heart will join Jesus and sing of his mighty and awesome deeds that God has, and is performing, on behalf of those who wait on Him!