God's Words For US
by Cecelia Lester
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hid their faces he was despised and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him.” Isaiah 53:3-5 (NIV)
When we reflect upon the last week of our Lord’s earthly life, we read of His trials and obedience before His Father. We hear again the story of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The people regaled Him as a conquering hero, a reigning king. But the fickleness of the crowd turned them into an ugly mob.
The prophet Isaiah describes Jesus as one who was “despised and rejected by men” The chief priests and those who taught the Mosaic Law plotted His demise because He revealed the shortcomings of their practices to the masses.
God’s Son was “familiar with suffering,” He endured a death reserved for the most heinous of criminals. The practice was after the criminal had died, the soldiers broke the person’s legs in order to insure that the process was complete.
Before they placed Jesus on the cross, He endured scourging and beatings to the place He most likely looked grotesque. The rebel rousers-aka, the religious leaders, brought the onlookers to such frenzy that, except for His closest followers, they didn’t care about Him.
We often ask, “Why?” Jesus, God’s Son “took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,” we don’t fully understand unless we study God’s word. Early on in our relationship with Jesus, we wonder why God allowed this horrific event. Friends, the prophet Isaiah spells it out for us;
“. . . he was pierced for our transgressions.”The message of the movie, The Passion of The Christ that our sins put Jesus on the cross, makes it personal for me. I believe that Christ died for each misguided thought I had, every unkind word I ever said, each careless action I ever took.
“. . . he was crushed for our iniquities;” The wickedness of our collective sin caused our Savior to cry out to His Father, “Why have you forsaken me?"
“the punishment that brought us peace was upon him.” Don’t you find it strange that Jesus’ punishment is what brought peace to us? This was God’s plan from the beginning. I am thankful God had this in mind. Where would we be had he not?
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquities of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted yet he did not open his mouth, he was lead like a lamb to the slaughter and, as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:6-7 (NIV)
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;” Throughout history, man has had a sort of ‘love-hate’ relationship with God and His laws. When the people were in exile, they seemed to become enthralled with the idol worship and pagan gods of those nations who held them captive.
Even in the 21Century, we see people who have chosen to ‘go their own way.’ Honestly speaking, we probably don’t have to look very far to see someone who has done this- even, maybe even us.
“. . . the Lord has laid on him the iniquities of us all.” God put on Jesus all the gross injustices that we have done to one another-disrespect of property, willful harm to others, defamation of another’s character. Our heavenly Father knew we’d need a Savior. He watched us as we missed the mark He had set for us. But He loves us so much that he allowed His Son to come down here and live among us peasants in order to permit us to become pure and chaste, unblemished by sin, in His eyes.
"The Way" from
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Cecelia Lester has been serious about her writing for two decades..
She composes Christian essays and posts them to her blog quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
She has served in a faith-based organization, Grace In Action by writing two newsletters and searching for possible grants.
In July 2017, she published her first book, 'Times of Trouble Bring Rays of Joy.'
She and her husband of 52 years live in central Indiana. They have one grown son.
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