“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.” Isaiah 53:10-12
Last night we watched “The Passion of the Christ”. It was the second time Steve and I watched it and the first time for Joni. Becky made a point of watching a movie of Jesus’ life every year. For many years it was “Jesus of Nazareth”, but after “The Passion” came out that was the movie she watched annually. I can’t watch it that often. The movie depicts the brutality of Jesus’ death with such reality and power that it can make me physically ill if I pay full attention to it. Seeing the movie and contemplating again what Jesus went through for us fills me with emotion. So many random thoughts. . .
- “Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer . . .” – how could Jesus ever face that death? Why didn’t He die of fear in the Garden of Gethsemane as He agonized over what was coming? Becky’s death was violent and physically traumatic, but she didn’t know it was coming and she didn’t have to choose to go through it. It just was. She was unconscious from shortly after the impact and didn’t awaken again. Her death was relatively peaceful. But Jesus chose to allow and experience incredible injustice, oppression, violence, and torture. It is as if all of the sin of the world for all time was acted out in the execution of his death. How did he choose this?
- “. . . the LORD makes his life a guilt offering . . .” – what a statement. Father God also made this choice to allow his son to die. He watched as puny little men tortured and abused his son. Wow. I confess that whenever I hear about an abused child my first instinct is to rage against those who perpetrate that crime. I want them dead. I’m powerless to accomplish that and as I pray a cooler head prevails and I turn that anger toward Satan, the one who inspires these horrible sins. But Father God is not powerless except by choice.
- “. . . and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand” – such an intriguing and promising statement. Jesus’ obedience to this death that he and Father God purposed resulted in prosperity. On one hand that prosperity could be the ‘success’ of the plan, but I also see it as the bounty that comes with salvation. The fruit of this hard obedience is LIFE for you and me and all who hear and follow Jesus, the one who is the resurrection and the life. We are the prosperity of God and Christ.
- “. . . for he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors . . .” – even from the cross he interceded for the transgressors. Even on the cross he bore my sin and interceded for me.
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39