I have been reading through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John the past couple of months, and even though I have known Jesus for several years, I am continually surprised, humbled, and awed at the life he lived here on this earth. He counters everything that we think to be important, and calls his followers to a life of denial to self and suffering, promising no worldly comfort, success, or achievement, only guaranteeing his Spirit and eternal life.
On Wednesday night at my community group, my friend Cora read the words from the prophet Isaiah as he was telling of the Messiah who would one day come, and those words from Isaiah, which have since been fulfilled, keep replaying over and over in my head. I can’t get over Jesus and who He is.
He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him
How much of our lives do we waste obsessing over our personal “majesty” and “beauty” when Jesus himself was described as having none?
He was despised and rejected by men
The very men created by a holy God, in His image, and the God-man who was sent as a redeemer to pay for the sin of those who despised him.
A man of sorrows, acquainted with grief
Jesus knows grief deeper than we ever will.
…and we esteemed him not
The King of the world, who deserves all honor, worship, and glory, came and lived his life in complete humility.
He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities
OURS. The sins WE commit.
Upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace
He bore the price to bring us peace. He IS peace. He suffered to give us what we didn’t even know we needed: Himself.
With his stripes we are healed
His stripes. The physical evidence of the torture he endured on our behalf showed the hope brought to us through our Healer.
God was the genius who thought up the idea of the world and all in it, so certainly he could have creatively come up with a less gruesome, more glamorous way to show his glory and redeem His people to Himself. But He chose the cross. Isaiah goes on to say “it was the will of the Lord to crush him.” God didn’t stand by idly as Jesus hung helplessly on the cross; it was his will to do so. That literally blows my mind.
So who is this Jesus of the Bible?
He is God, who put on flesh, and lived the most humble, simple, selfless life imaginable. Thirty three years after his birth in a manger, he was hung on a cross, where God in Heaven poured out His wrath toward sin on Jesus, who had never committed a sin. He hung there on our behalf, because He loves us.
That is who Jesus is. He died, and later rose up straight from the dead, defeating sin, and offering Life for all who would believe in Him. That is Jesus. The more I learn about Him, the more I am thoroughly convinced He is exactly who he claimed to be: God. Who loved us enough to endure Hell to save his people. I hope to never get over it.
Until next time,