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Isaiah 53:2-10 (Amplified Bible)
For [the Servant of God] grew up before Him like a tender plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He has no form or comeliness [royal, kingly pomp], that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.
He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.
All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, [yet when] He was afflicted, He was submissive and opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who among them considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living [stricken to His death] for the transgression of my [Isaiah’s] people, to whom the stroke was due?
And they assigned Him a grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in His death, although He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick. When You and He make His life an offering for sin [and He has risen from the dead, in time to come], He shall see His [spiritual] offspring, He shall prolong His days, and the will and pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
This passage from Isaiah is long. I encourage you to read it and come back to it later in a quiet time with the Lord. Jesus did not live this glamorous life where everyone loved and adored Him. He suffered. He suffered greatly. He sacrificed all that He was for His Father and for you and me. There is no greater love than this!
Can you think of anyone in your life who would give up paradise to be born into poor beginnings? Can you think of anyone who would bypass pleasure for pain? Can you think of anyone who would give their life for yours knowing you are guilty? I know a good deal of people that are unwilling to be inconvenienced, let alone suffer or sacrifice for others. It’s human nature to preserve ourselves and minimize pain.
Jesus gave up the right to live without pain.
Jesus sacrificed His dignity to reclaim ours.
Jesus sacrificed having His own way to do the will of the Father.
Jesus sacrificed His life to save our lives!
Jesus sacrificed His time, energy, and often His reputation to minister to broken, hurting, lost, and sinful people!
The point of today’s post: Real love costs you something!
If we are to follow Jesus, it will cost us to walk in love. It costs us pride to forgive and offer grace and extend mercy. It costs us energy and time to pour into and invest in the lives of others. It requires dying to self to bless those who have hurt, abused, rejected, or neglected you. Walking with Jesus is a continual dying to self.
When I want to throw in the towel on this loving people thing, I am reminded that saving my life cost Jesus everything. We love people to honor God, because He first loved us. Without love, we are just making noise. Without love, we cannot say we know God. Without love, we are not operating by His Spirit. God is love. If it costs us nothing, it means nothing.
Next post we will talk about the boundaries of Jesus. He wasn’t a people pleaser, co-dependent, and He rebuked people as well. He was not led by the people; He did only what He saw the Father doing. He lived a sacrificial life for a purpose.
As we start 2014, may we be transformed by God’s unfailing love! We must receive His great love for us before we can give it away.
Happy New Year!!!