Easter weekend’s a busy time. No doubt many of you, my readers, will travel to visit family or friends. Others—like me—will welcome family and friends into your home. My youngest daughter and her husband will arrive this afternoon, so I’ll shift gears in a few hours and prepare by cooking and baking. On Sunday, we’ll have sixteen people here for dinner!
The tendency—especially for those with Martha-type personalities—will be to focus on all the preparations that must be done. Believe me, I “get” that. But this morning I’ve resolved to make Easter’s true meaning my focus. I begin now by meditating on Isaiah 53. Will you join me?
Who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power?
My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed.
All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of us all.
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.
From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins—that he was suffering their punishment?
He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.
But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s plan will prosper in his hands.
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.
I will give him the honors of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners.
I’m awestruck by the phrases, “But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed.” Imagine! He bore pain and death that we might experience peace and healing. I cannot fathom the depth of His love.
What phrase leaves you awestruck as you contemplate what Jesus did on your behalf?
#bgbg2 #JesusDied #WhatDoesEasterMean