Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Who has believed our message

and to whom has the arm of the

Lord been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender


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


a man of sorrows, and familiar

with suffering.

Like one from whom men hide their


he was despised, and we esteemed

him not.

Surely he took up our infirmities

and carried our sorrows,

yet we considered him stricken by


smitten by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our


he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace

was upon him,

and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,

each of us has turned to his own


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


and as a sheep before her shearers

is silent,

so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgement he

was taken away.

And who can speak of his


For he was cut off from the land of

the living;

for the transgression of my people

he was stricken.

He was assigned a grave with the


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 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


and was numbered with the


For he bore the sin of many,

and made intercession for the


Isaiah 53

Have you ever really thought about what it's like to "bear" someone else's iniquities? can you imagine going to prison for the sins of someone else? or offering to take someone else's death penalty? These passages are filled with powerful images, if you've ever heard of reading scripture "Lectio Devina" style, set aside some time to meditate on them that way.

"Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, 'Take off his filthy clothes.' Then he said to Joshua, 'See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.' " Zechariah 3:3-4

"They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. 'Hail, king of the Jews!' they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him." Matthew 27:28-31

"There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults as him; 'Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us?'

But the other criminal rebuked him. 'Don't you fear God,' he said, 'since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.'

Then he said 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.'

Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.' " Luke 23:38-43

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