When I was at IHOP-KC back in March, a friend of mine was praying over me, and she felt the Scripture from Isaiah 53 would be really central to me in this next season. Now, I’ll be honest, up until the last two weeks, I haven’t really had this passage in my heart or my spirit in a huge way. I had written it down, thought it would become clear at the time, and when it didn’t find immediate relevance, I just stowed it away in the back of my mind. In the back of my journal.
But these last two weeks, it dropped back into my heart with a weight of realisation.
Isaiah 53 described Jesus prophetically.
The suffering servant. He who had no stately majesty or appearance to attract us to Him. He who was despised and forsaken of men. A man of sorrows who we knew not. He who carried our griefs. Who carried our sorrows. Who was pierced for our transgressions. For my transgressions. He who was bruised and crushed for me. He who did no violence. He in whom there was no deceit. He who took the inquity of the world upon Himself and bore it willingly in love. He who drank the cup of wrath with my name of it. And He who rose, and who lives to make intercession for us. Our merciful, faithful High Priest.
And my thoughts today have been three fold.
Firstly, although verse 2 of this chapter says that Jesus had nothing in His physical appearance to attract or draw us to Him, I can’t help but think that this passage described a God so magnificently beautiful in more ways than my heart and spirit can even comprehend. A perfect man, who would take my imperfection? A holy God, who would bear the consequences of my sin and rebellion in His own flesh? A God who saw that I deserved nothing but hell, but who chose to bestow on me mercy unending? As the song sings, ‘Oh the beauty of this man’.
Secondly, the innocence of Jesus struck me. He was despised and forsaken and rejected. He was oppressed and afflicted. He was beaten and bruised and condemned. He was murdered. But yet he was totally innocent. When I am slandered or spoken about or rejected, I am not innocent. Not really. None of us are. We are at our core sinners in need of a Saviour. Redeemed to be lovers of God, but still battling with our flesh. But not Jesus. Perfect, spotless, sinless, Jesus. He deserved none of what was given Him. None of what He chose to bear. I can’t imagine the physical pain he bore in His body, but I definately can’t come close to imagining the heartbreak of facing the rejection and slander and accusation of those He loved enough to die for. That walk to the cross. Knowing even the Father turn His face away. And choosing it in love.
Which leads me onto my final reflection. The meekness of Jesus. The meekness of Isaiah 53. Being meek is a choice. It’s not weakness. It’s strength under control. It’s Jesus. It’s Jesus, not opening His mouth in the face of accusation, when He holds the wisdom of the ages inside of Him. It’s Jesus, allowing them to take Him away when He held the strength of the God-head inside. It’s Jesus, nailed to a cross for the sin of the world when He could have called legions of angels to His rescue.
It’s Jesus. Perfect in meekness. Perfect in beauty. Perfect in Isaiah 53. And the absolute meditation of my heart today.
Because when I look to Him, I won’t be overwhelmed.
And when I look past Isaiah 53, I remember that He’s the Lion as well as the Lamb. And that resurrection always follows.
I’m worshipping more in Japanese just now. It’s good practice. It’s good for my heart. It reminds me of why he has called, and what it’s for.