Spring is a great season of the year. Easter is a great expression of the newness of life and experiencing a new season that is yet to come. We all have a past that brings us to the present and we anticipate what our future will look like. But living for today is where our joy has its roots. Being at peace with the one true God that created the heavens and the earth brings satisfaction for whatever sins one has been plagued with in the past. We can know a new freedom if we work for it. As we work, we should also realize that there was one who had a plan for each of us in mind as we pursue this life we are living.
Jesus is truly the Savior of the world. No other potential world leader has been able to beat death by a resurrection. That is exactly what Jesus did. He not only defeated death but He had it prophesied before He was coming to earth that this is what He would do. It wasn’t just something that happened to Him, circumstance, it was a plan stated after the fall to bring His perfect creation back to Himself. Genesis 3:15b states, “He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.” Part of God’s character is revealed as well as justice. But because it is roughly 4000 years until Jesus actually fulfills this prophesy, we see He is patient as well. Just pondering on this point right here, God is telling me to trust Him more. He has my best interest in mind. He is the one that will plan and fight my battles for me. I can rest in waiting on Him, but not being apathetic. Apathy is another lesson altogether.
Isaiah 53 is a beautiful chapter that illuminates many elements about our Lord. There is no other chapter of Scripture in the Old Testament that more vividly portrays the prophesy of the holiday we call Easter. It is obvious too from God’s character that He is passionate about a relationship with us. He desires to have His creation close to Him. Close to Him is not even completely understood in human terms either. God’s desire for relationship is not needy, inappropriate, or biased in any form. When we understand that He is perfect every aspect of Him follows as well.
- Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? The arm of the Lord has been revealed to the Jews. The arm can be used for showing affection and love. It can be used for protection from elements. And what we most often associate with, unfortunately in the Old Testament, is His discipline. And besides Jesus, the God head, doesn’t technically have arms because He is a Spirit.
- He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had not beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire Him. Jesus was not in human form, such as we see in the media. Unlike, Saul, he was not tall, dark and handsome, 1 Samuel 9:2. God’s purpose is for us to have pure hearts.
- He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised and we held Him in low esteem. Jesus did not come from a place of high standing, being raised in Nazareth. This would be like being raised on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’.
- Surely He took up our pain and bore our sufferings, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him, the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth, He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before it’s shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. This classic passage tells us more of even why Jesus suffered hematidrosis in the garden before His crucifixion. He was going to be separated from the Father but He also knew of the torment physically that He was going to face on our behalf. The Passion of the Chris, directed by Mel Gibson, is a close rendition.
- By oppression and judgement, he was taken away. Yet who of His generation protested? Even though Peter made statements that he would not deny Christ, he was specifically told that after the rooster crows three times, he would have denied him.
- For He was cut off from the land of the living; or the transgressions of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich his death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes His life an offering for sin, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand. After he has suffered, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by His acknowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will give Him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. God is not concerned with His image from a worldly point of view. He is not wondering if people think He is a nice person. But, He never fought back which would confuse His message or mission.
- For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. This too gets my attention that Jesus would make such an effort while on the cross. The thief next to Him acknowledged his wrong and repented, Then Jesus stated today you will with me in paradise. Even after all the pain and suffering from sinners, He is trying to save. In the midst of exhaustion and as we would call it, ‘at the end of your rope’, Jesus still found it possible to be kind and save others. He was able to offer Grace and Truth.
There is no greater joy than to know that you are a part of His plan. He doesn’t look at your sin acts or internal struggles as a reason for Him not to die for you. He knew it was all sin. That is why the ground is level at the cross. We are free indeed.