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According to Us

One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

 Jesse Tree Day 17

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 mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our 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 its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
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 an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
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

So far, all the prophecies that we have looked at with Isaiah have been positive. They have shown us the goodness of God or hope to come in Christ’s return. But absolutely none of that would be possible without the great suffering that Christ would have to go through, and I’m not talking about him dying on the cross alone.

Crucifixion was a masterful way to make people suffer. The Romans had mastered torture and utter humiliation well. It was a very common way to be sentenced to death in the time of Jesus. In fact, thousands of people had died on the cross. It’s not the cross alone that makes Jesus death redemptive. It wasn’t the hanging on the cross in front of huge crowds naked, or the suffocation for hours as he struggled just to take a breath of air. Neither was it the constant mocking of the crowd, the betrayal of his best friends, or the pure agony and suffering that made that cross so difficult.

The beatings he received before dying were not uncommon either. The soldiers who were in charge of beatings were professionals. They knew exactly how much to beat a person without killing him. They carefully designed their tools of suffering to inflict the most pain and damage. Thirty-nine lashes were a human engineering masterpiece. They could bring a person nearest to death without completely taking him out. Ripping flesh from all sides of the body. But again, it wasn’t the beating combined with the crucifixion that made his death glorious.

The suffering of the Servant includes these, but is much more. Jesus never came to live a good life. He came with the purpose of replacement. He laid aside every right that he had as God. Instead of being worshiped and honored, he was despised and rejected. Instead of his glorious presence being known, the bright illumination of his existence, he looked like an average, humble Jewish man. Instead of being honored and celebrated, he was oppressed and judged. This was just the beginning.

He is God’s Son and has never been anything put perfect, pure, and Holy. When God poured out his wrath for the sin of all man kind, how great the wrath, Jesus received every bit of hell and judgment that could be poured out. He separated himself with the nature of God, and took on the punishment of mankind. He was crushed and suffered great loss. When all damnation was poured out and the price was paid in full, Jesus breathed his last and died.

the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

In the death of Jesus we have redemption from our sins, but that isn’t the end of what he did. Death wasn’t enough. We need more than redemption. Three days he laid dead. The fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy is also seen in his resurrection.

After he has suffered,
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.

Jesse Tree 17

In his death we have redemption, but his life he gives us the power to overcome sin. No longer are we bound to the death grip of sin but have the victory to overcome. Paul explains it this way,

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:18-21

We can overcome sin because as believers the Holy Spirit lives in us. Bettering our actions is not what life is about. Living as Jesus- honoring God, loving your neighbor- in all I do is what it’s all about. I am no longer bound to sin, but have the same power to be greater. The power that Jesus displayed in overcoming death is the power I have to overcome sin’s effectiveness.

Before Christ I could be a better person, but it was all about me doing it and for the purpose of my own glory as a good person. After the salvation through Christ, I am empowered through the Spirit, who draws me to him. It’s not about me being a better me. It’s about me being more like Jesus himself, and for no other reason than to bring glory and honor to His own name.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:4-10

Family Devotion:

Gather a plate (I recommend a bowl for it’s concave shape), penny, small candle, glass with colored water, and something to light the candle Click on this link for complete instructions. Bible and ornament

Read the passage together. Explain to your family how this was written over 600 years before Jesus was born. It describes Jesus death and why he came. He came to pay for the debt we owed God for our sin. Follow the instructions linked above to illustrate how Jesus took away our sin. He did it, not by removing it, like a stain, but it became his burden that he had to be punished for. Pray together thanking God  for Jesus, and the power to overcome sin.

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