No Attractiveness

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 4:17 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “He Lifted Our Burdens.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 53 (Select vv. ESV).

He Was Despised (vv. 1-3)

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

This is a good question for today: Who has believed what he has heard from us? That is to say, who has believed the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Who has understood that Jesus Christ wasn’t this do-gooder who everyone loved and admired, but that people despised and rejected him? They did not esteem him, but they hid their faces from him. He is not the model for today’s modern church movement here in America at all. He wasn’t attractive to the world so that the world should desire him. In fact, the world hated him, because he told them that what they did was evil. Even his own people of his own faith rejected him, and the religious leaders in the temple of his Father were the ones who had him put to death on a cross.

Yet, did he do good? Certainly! He healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, encouraged the timid, delivered people from demons, and fed the hungry, etc. But, along with this he also preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God. He confronted people in their sins, and he didn’t mince words. He always told the truth, and never did he tell people just what they wanted to hear, or what would make them feel good about themselves, living in their sins.

He told them, instead, that if they wanted to come after him they must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow him. He told them that if they do not “eat his flesh and drink his blood” that they have no life in themselves, i.e. if they would not partake with him in death to sin, and in laying down their lives and in being willing to suffer for the sake of his name, and for the sake of the gospel, they had no part of him. If they put their hand to the plow, he said, but then looked back, meaning if they chose to follow him, but then they were not willing to let go of their former lives of living for sin and self, they were not fit for service in the kingdom of God (See: Lu. 9:23-25, 62; Jn. 6:35-66). This teaching does not jive with modern Christianity, at all. Jesus is rejected, even within the church today.

He Bore Our Griefs (vv. 4-6)

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God (and God) left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human flesh, suffered as we suffer and was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. Because he took on our humanity, he is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses. He became our compassionate and merciful high priest to whom we can go at any time with our griefs and sorrows, who will comfort us with his love and mercy, but who will also tell us the truth, and who will counsel us in the right way.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God. When he died, our sins died with him and were buried with him, but when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death on our behalf. When he died on that cross, he took upon himself not only our sins, but all our sicknesses, pain, sorrow and weaknesses so that by his stripes we are healed, not only spiritually, but emotionally, mentally and physically, according to his will, and in his own way, for healing comes in many ways.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, he died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He did not die merely so that he would take the punishment of our sin, and so that we could escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. He gave his life up for us that we might no longer live according to the flesh, but that we might walk in the Spirit, for if we live according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with him for eternity. When we believe in him with God-given faith, which persuades us as to his will for our lives. We, thus, are crucified with him in death to sin so that we might live to him to his righteousness. The old has gone. The new has come.

The Will of God (vv. 10-12)

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

It was God’s plan all along that Jesus Christ should suffer and die for our sins, because this was his plan to save us out of slavery to sin and to bring us into his eternal kingdom. Jesus, although he was fully God and fully man, learned obedience through the things which he suffered. And, it is God’s will that we should suffer, too, in order that we might learn obedience, humility, patience, endurance and perseverance, and in order to make us holy and to conform us to the image of Christ.

When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, with God-given faith, Jesus’ righteousness is now credited to our account. Our sins are forgiven, and we are set free from the control of sin over our lives. Although Jesus Christ was never married and never had children of his own in the natural sense, all of us who put our faith and trust in him are his offspring. We belong to him and him to us. He is our Savior, Lord, friend, and brother.

Not only are we saved from our old lives (of living for sin and self), but we are given new lives in him, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” We are given joy, peace, love, compassion, assurance, strength and power to live godly and holy lives while we wait for Christ’s return. He blesses our lives with so many spiritual blessings that it is beyond measure. We can go to him in prayer any time of day, he listens, and he cares. As well, we listen to him, and we follow him wherever he leads us, and we practice doing what his word says, because we are in him and him in us, and because we love, worship, honor and adore him.

He Lifted Our Burdens / An Original Work / February 15, 2014

Based off Isaiah 9:2-7

People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.

Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.

Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.

We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.

Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.

He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.

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