The Scriptures inform us, Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did (I Jn. 2:6), What does that look like for us who are seeking to live out the Gospel as blameless and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which [we] shine like stars in the universe (Phil. 2:15)?
To help us answer that question let us look at excerpts from Isaiah 52 and 53 that contain the prophecy of Jesus the suffering Servant in light of His redemptive work at Calvary:
There were many who were appalled at Him– His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness (Isa. 52:14).
Then they spit in His face and struck Him with their fists. Others slapped HimThey spit on Him, and took the staff and struck Him on the head again and again (Matt. 26:67; 27:30). (See Isa. 50:6; Psa. 22:7, 15, 17)
QUESTION: What level of suffering am I willing to submit to for Christ and His cause?
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not (Isa. 53:3).
Those who passed by hurled insults at Him, shaking their heads and saying, You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God! In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked Him. He saved others, they said, but He can't save Himself! He's the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue Him now if He wants Him, for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' In the same way the robbers who were crucified with Him also heaped insults on Him (Matt. 27:39-44). (See Mk. 15:19; Lk. 8:53; 16:14; 23:18-25)
QUESTON: Am I willing to be despised and rejected as a follower of Christ?
It was the Lord's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer (Isa. 53:10b).
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God
(Eph. 5:2b) (See Rom 4:25; 2 Cor. 5:21; I Pet. 3:18)
QUESTION: Am I willing to trust that Gods crushing blows in my life are for a larger good that may lay outside of my capacity to comprehend?
This week may you experience His grace, peace and protection.
R. Dwight Hill