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Friday, 19 January, 2018

Isaiah 53 : 1-12

“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1)

JESUS CHRIST the Messiah is unique in that his life was prophesied centuries before, as seen in today’s reading.  Isaiah foretold His suffering, death and resurrection and its benefits for mankind. It begins with the “Arm of the Lord being revealed” and the contempt of how man would respond and view Him.   As then, many still today do not esteem His sacrifice, rejecting the message of truth the Gospel of their salvation. Starting with His life as a tender plant, being despised, rejected, bruised and stricken, Prophet Isaiah takes us to the reason for this suffering in Vs10: “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” He obtained for us pardon and salvation, by His meekness and humble submission (Vs.4-6). Isaiah 53 contains a beautiful summary of the most distinguishing doctrines of Christianity and Christian Living.


Arm of the LORD

The Messiah is revealed here as the “Arm of the Lord.”  From the time of exodus, the Arm of the Lord is seen as the strength, power, and might of the GODHEAD and not only that but delivers, covers and protects. Christ did not come as a mighty physical warrior but as a humble and gentle man which was His great strength that made Him endure all the hardships of life and still do the will of the Father(Vs.10). Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Jesus dwells all the FULLNESS of the Godhead BODILY.”  Yet He was willing to come in human form to suffer and take our place so that He could win us sinners back to God. Phil 2:6-8 speaks about Jesus thus: “who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation…. was made in the likeness of men. And being found in the fashion of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death—even the death of the cross.”

Christian Living

As followers of Christ let us also respond like Jesus to life’s unjust suffering:

  • When oppressed and afflicted, He did not retaliate nor open His mouth to complain (V7a)

  • When led to his crucifixion by the will of His Heavenly Father, He went willingly (V7b)

  • When judged under mock trial He did not resist but submitted to the verdict (V8-9)

  • He willingly died for the very people who rejected Him (Vs.3-6)

It is not natural for people to see any profit in suffering; but we consider it a deterrent to progress, a consequence to be avoided. But if our Lord Himself learned obedience through the things that He suffered (Heb.5:8), how can our Heavenly Father also not allow it in our lives? If that is true of the Son of God, how much more for us! It is inevitable and part of the plan of God for our lives for the development of our faith.  The Bible says that all who live godly lives in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2Tim.3:12). Peter states that Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example to follow in His steps (1 Pet.2:19-23).  Suffering is not just persecution from the world, mockery of our godly lives, trials from the Lord, but also putting off the old self and putting on the new self and the cost of serving the Lord in this sinful world—that is taking up the cross and following the Lord, having fellowship with his sufferings.

Vs.12 tells us the outcome of the suffering the Lord went through: “Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great..”  Philippians 2: 8-11 says, “Therefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, ….and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Thought For The Day- “And of His (Jesus) fullness have we all received, and grace for grace.”(John 1:16)

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