He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted. Just as many were appalled at You, His appearance was so disfigured that He did not look like a man, and His form did not resemble a human being…” –Isaiah 52:13, 14
That disfigured face…that happened because of me. I did that to Him because I thought I was better than Him. My pride, greed, and lust were more important than His sovereignty, His holiness, and His mercy. I wanted to feel loved, feel happy, feel rich, feel fulfilled, be independent and self-reliant. After all, who knows me better than…me? The world had much to offer: attention. love, success, acceptance.
But this self-reliance thing…turns out I wasn’t very reliant. But I kept forging ahead on my destructive path convinced that God’s power couldn’t or wouldn’t reach me. I didn’t like what I was doing to myself because I was raised in a Christian home and I had accepted Christ as a young child. But, I felt God didn’t really understand my needs so I was on my own quest. But, I wasn’t finding that love and acceptance in the world. Oh, I got the attention, but it was at a great cost.
Meanwhile, 2000 years ago, Jesus comes to earth as God in the flesh and dwells among us because man is in trouble. We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way. That’s what we do, we go our own way. And it gets us in trouble every time. We end up despising Jesus and rejecting Him because He doesn’t fit into our plans the way we want Him to. Jesus is the only way? No, couldn’t be, He wouldn’t do that…so, go away. I know what is right and best.
But He was on His own quest.
He didn’t have an impressive form or majesty that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.
Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.” –Isaiah 53:2-5
He went through that willingly, like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers…for me. He willingly let wicked men scourge Him so that He could provide these wicked men a way out — forgiveness, healing…the opportunity to become children of God.
He was in the world, and the world was created through Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name…” –John 1:10-12
People are God’s highest creation and yet we rebel against Him. But He loves us too much to let us go…and that is why we celebrate Easter — the risen Christ, marred, scarred, and disfigured after bearing the depravity of man on the cross. What an amazing, hopeful truth to embrace and make part of our story…my story. See, growing up I didn’t really know the true Jesus — I believed because that’s all I knew but I didn’t know or comprehend His love for me.
But I have found this One and Only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth, who shares this glory and honor with no other…the one who let me wound Him so that He could heal mine. What amazing love that is!
The choice is ours…the world and man’s depravity or redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:7,8)