It was merely another time-consuming assignment for a required college credit, you know, one of those courses NO ONE wants to take, but everyone is required to endure by some unseen, mystical force in order to qualify for your degree. Since I attended a liberal arts college, those courses were unfortunately in excess! One such class was freshman Bible. Whoa, are you saying that the Bible is boring? Well, to an unsaved teenager who found herself forced to listen to the driest speaker ever to grace a podium, a professor who was at least 150 years old, at 8:00 am Monday mornings, maybe just a bit. I didn’t see the hidden purpose being orchestrated by God at that moment of time. I endured the course and was ready to take the final exam and move on. Our assignment was to write out completely, punctuation and all, Isaiah, chapter 53. To say that God placed a young nineteen-year-old in a boring class, to serve His purpose is an understatement. God had a plan!
That particular chapter of Isaiah is perhaps one of the most vivid and heart-breaking commentaries describing exactly what transpired on the cross of Calvary. Is it not amazing that Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Christ was penned some seven centuries prior to the actual event, yet it was as though Isaiah was standing at the foot of that blood-stained cross: his description, vivid; his sorrow, self-evident; the salvation message, crystal clear. The events are recorded in past tense; in Isaiah’s mind it was as if that excruciating death upon the cross had already taken place. Yet Isaiah, well-attuned to Jewish culture, was careful to relate to his audience, using the familiar analogy of sheep going astray to represent our wayward nature. His listeners, many of whom tended sheep of their own, would understand immediately the graphic picture Isaiah was painting. He then presents the silent, submissive Lamb of God, their coming Messiah, One Who “opened not his mouth,” was “brought to the slaughter:” and willingly sacrificed His life and was brutally tortured and killed as an atonement for them. The Spirit began His work in me through that God-sent assignment. And as I memorized those tragic words, the heart of this callous, stray lamb was broken and changed forever.
As I read that passage now as a born-again child of God, the words are precious, my personal testimony of a life-altering experience with the Lamb of God. For He was wounded for MY transgressions, He was bruised for MY iniquities, the chastisement of MY peace was upon Him, and with His stripes, I am healed. How humbling to imagine what He endured for someone so unworthy of His mercy and grace.
Have you immersed your life in the powerful message of Isaiah 53? If you aren’t sure, find a Bible and spend a moment perusing that precious passage today, contemplating the One Who “hath borne our griefs.” And if you have already knelt at the cross and are cleansed by His shed blood, allow your tears to flow in humble gratitude, as you rehearse once more in your mind’s eye the sacrifice of love offered in your stead.
John 1:29 …behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.
Thank You, Lord, for a fresh glimpse of the price You paid for my sin. Help me to always keep the cross in mind, and keep me humble and grateful for the sacrifice made for me.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1211-63d9c3677ee32' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1211&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1211-63d9c3677ee32' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1211-63d9c3677ee32' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>