July 17 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 52-54 and Psalms 17
What a beautifully detailed – but horrific picture Isaiah paints for us concerning the sufferings and sacrifice of Jesus. Isaiah 52:13-14 and Isaiah 53:2-11 read this way;
“See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as 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 – He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 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. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his 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 her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in 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 a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.”
Scripture indicates that Jesus was not particularly handsome to look at in the first place – he was physically just an ordinary fellow, but then He was beaten till He was hideous to look at – disfigured and marred beyond human likeness. We despised and rejected Him – He knew sorrow, suffering, and rejection as a man. He carried in His body our cancer, stroke, heart attack, AIDS, Hep. A B& C, deafness, blindness, pain of the worst kind, depression, mental torment – ALL HUMAN SICKNESS. Jesus took all of these things and more to the cross with Him. He carried all our grief and all of our sorrows in his mind and when God the Father Himself rejected Him He suffered the torment of Hell itself. He was pounded on, and pierced through without opening His mouth. He knew that in His death He would leave no descendants, only a grieving mother and family with no accomplishments of the worldly type. As He was dying, He was called a criminal and a sinner. All of this happened because all moral crime must be JUDGED with JUSTICE. Everything within us understands justice – and the only judgment possible for mankind is separation from God because there is no sin in heaven. Therefore Jesus had to make a way of redemption for us – so that we could be forgiven – sinless – temples of the living God – in fellowship with Him. Hallelujah!..
1. What should be our attitude towards all sickness – knowing that in heaven there is no sickness or disease?
2. Do you ever get angry at sickness or disease in our world? Good – sickness and disease are enemies of the cross of Christ!