In Today's Scripture Reading:
Christ to bear our grief, suffering, and sin; the Lord's everlasting love for Israel; everyone a sinner; a call to faith and repentance
God revealed to Isaiah that the Messiah, the King of kings, would first be My Servant . . . (then) He shall be exalted (Isaiah 52:13). Jesus first came as the Servant (of God), as the Suffering Savior; but He will soon return highly exalted as the King of kings.
The religious leaders of the first century were looking for a warrior-king, like David, to deliver them from the oppression of Rome. However, Isaiah had foretold: Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows (53:4). This means He has met our emotional and spiritual, as well as physical, needs of every kind. Although Isaiah was prophesying about the future, he wrote as if it was already an established fact — the Messiah was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes (whiplashes) we are healed (made whole) (53:5). Jesus' death on the cross provided the means by which all repentant believers, Jew and Gentile alike, receive eternal life and become acceptable to Him through the death of the sinless Son of God when they receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
He was oppressed, and He was afflicted. . . . He was taken from prison and from judgment . . . He was cut off out of the land of the living
He was oppressed, and He was afflicted. . . . He was taken from prison and from judgment . . . He was cut off out of the land of the living(He perished): for the transgression of My people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death. . . . Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin (53:7-10). Had they been in subjection to the Word of God, they would have recognized their Messiah who provided deliverance from sin and freedom from oppression. He shall grow up before Him (the Lord) as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him (53:2). Dry ground illustrates the spiritual condition of the religious world without Jesus. He alone provides eternal life for all who confess their guilt, repent of their sins, and seek to obey His Word. That's why it's important to read all of it, even though we fall short of what God desires us to be. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died (for our sins) . . . who also maketh intercession (prays to God the Father) for us (Romans 8:34).
As the One who was rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:3; compare Luke 23:18; John 1:11); remained silent when He was falsely accused (Isaiah 53:7; Mark 15:3-5); was buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60); and was crucified with sinners (Isaiah 53:12; Mark 15:27-28).
52:1 uncircumcised => heathen (those without a covenant with God); 52:10 made bare His holy arm => revealed His power; 52:12 rereward => rear guard; 52:14 visage => appearance, countenance; 57:4 sport => ridicule; 57:17 frowardly => rebelliously.
Pray for Country: Croatia (5 million) in southeastern Europe Major language: Serbo-Croatian Religious freedom 73% Roman Catholic; 15% Serbian Orthodox; 5% Muslim Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you mercy and compassion for others (Jude 1:21-22).
Optional Reading: I Peter 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 4:4