As we approach Easter I wanted to take some time to talk about Jesus. Sometimes our holiday celebrations overshadow the real meaning they were intended to be. Christ’s birth (though not born on December 25th) has been overshadowed by Santa Claus, trees, lights, and presents. Christ’s death and resurrection has been overshadowed by Easter bunnies, eggs, candy, and pastels.
Jesus endured pain that most people will never endure. He did it to complete the Father’s will, to redeem what Adam lost. Love hung on a rugged cross for us. As I reflect on Isaiah 53, I am reminded that He not only chose nails, He lived a life without comfort. Let’s read below.
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
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.
After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge 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.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
The King of the Universe left a palace on high to bring salvation to the lost. I hope we never forget our freedom cost Him greatly. We are so blessed that He did not remain on the cross. He rose again.
“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him,” ~Acts 2:22-24.
He has given us more than freedom from sin. He has given us a hope for life eternal. This Easter may we continue to ponder the wonder of the cross. We have a love that was tried and a love that is true. I don’t know anyone who endure what Jesus did for the guilty. For me and for you, He chose nails.