Unbelievable Glory! An Easter Meditation on Isaiah 52:13-53:14
- Dr. Bill Lawrence Leader Formation International
- 2012 4 Apr
He? Prosper? High? Lifted up? Greatly Exalted? A priest? Someone who cleanses and hold us accountable?
Amazing! Startling! Stunning! Astonishing!
This amorphous mass of human flesh has morphed into the Lord of Glory!
Who would believe such a report?
Who would ever know that He was the arm of the Lord?
He was nobody, weak and powerless. He came from nowhere. There was nothing about Him that caused us to even look at Him or be attracted to Him. He was just another man.
But he was even lower than just another man -- He was despised, forsaken, a man of sorrows. Grief was His best friend. Men turned from Him as one who was rejected and shamed, despised. Why would anyone ever esteem Him?
Yes, He was all of those things, but He was more.
SEE ALSO: Celebrating Easter Imperfectly
He was a man of sorrows, but they weren't His sorrows -- they were our sorrows, the grief of our hearts. We esteemed Him, but not the way we esteem others. We had an estimate of Him, a way of viewing Him, but we didn't esteem Him for His appearance or His power or His position, but for His suffering. We esteemed Him as beneath us, not worthy of us, of no value to us. What could He do for us? That was the esteem we had for Him.
It was God who made Him Nobody. It was God who struck Him with sorrow, and all because of us.
He was pierced, He was crushed, He was chastened. Why? Because of our willfulness, because we have gone astray and turned to our own way, because God put our iniquity on Him.
He was silent, silent, silent.
He did not defend Himself or assert Himself or protect Himself.
Who cared? Who even cared? Who even considered what was happening? Who even thought about it? Who understood it? Who realized that He did it for our transgressions -- our transgressions! Not His, ours! He did nothing wrong.
Who spoke up for Him? Only His condemner, His uncourageous condemner! We did everything wrong. But who even cared that He was cut off from the living? Not those who confessed Him, who claimed to follow Him. They denied Him. They ran. They hid. He hung in public shame for all to see — except for those who ran.
His killers planned to put Him in a grave for the wicked. Their plan was to throw Him on the trash heap of history, but God’s plan put Him in a rich man's tomb instead because He was a gentle man, not a man of violence, an honest man, not a deceiver.
It was the Lord who crushed Him, who put Him to grief.
He said "Yes!" to the Lord. "Yes, I will do your will, Yes, I will die as you desire. Only let me see the joy of my pain and sorrow -- let me see your work. Bring me offspring, and I will take their guilt on me. Raise me from the dead so I can see and be satisfied."
So the Father has made Him great. Out of His weakness comes the Father's power. Out of His shame comes the Father's glory. Out of His death comes the Father's life, and all for us.
Though He was thought of as a transgressor; though He was seen as repulsive because of sin -- not His, but ours; though we reject Him and run from Him and hide from Him and even deny Him, yet He pleads on our behalf.
And so that amorphous, formless mass of flesh, that inhuman mess of one-time humanity, has become the Lord of Glory.
Amazing! Startling! Stunning! Astonishing! Honor Him. Praise Him. Worship Him. Live for Him.
Bill Lawrence is the president of Leader Formation International (LFI) as well as Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Bill began LFI in 2002 to minister to leaders around the world who are impacting the nations for Christ. Having watched God form his own life as a leader-mentor over 37 years in ministry (including 12 years as a founding pastor, 12 years as the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership, and over 23 years as a seminary faculty member), Bill helps other leaders recognize the reality that their success as a leader depends upon God's formative work in their heart. Bill has been privileged to personally serve leaders in Asia, Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa. He has also produced a six-part video/workbook series, Forming Davids for the 21st Century, which is a perfect resource to help groups of individual leaders engage with each other in the leader formation journey.
Publication date: April 4, 2012