Isaiah 53:1-3 ESV
“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.”
What is Praiseworthy?
Isn’t this so different from today’s modern church’s perspective about what is praiseworthy? If Jesus would walk into the doors of today’s modern churches he would be an outcast there, too. He would be despised and rejected there, as well, because he doesn’t fit with their marketing schemes.
So much of what is passed off as Christian in today’s modern market-driven “churches” is of man, not of God, and according to human standards, not according to God’s standards of holiness and godliness and purity. And so much of what they consider as praiseworthy is also by human standards.
But God doesn’t judge as humans judge. He doesn’t look on the outward appearance, but on the heart. He is not so much interested in whether something sounds good to the ears as he is concerned about the truth of what is being shared or sung or taught.
God is not interested in appearance, but in practice. He is not impressed by the show and the performance. He is looking for hearts surrendered to him, willing and ready to do his will no matter the cost, no matter if we are also despised and rejected of men because we are living for our Lord.
Why Despised and Rejected?
Jesus wasn’t despised and rejected for his outward appearance. He was rejected because he claimed to be God, and because he told people that they were sinners, and because he called them to repentance, and he demanded that they leave everything to follow him with their lives.
They hated him and they rejected him because he told them that they had to leave their sins behind them, that they had to die with him to sin, and that they must follow him in obedience to his commands and to his ways in total surrender to him as Lord (owner-master) of their lives (Lu 9:23-26).
The Pharisees, the priests, the scribes, the Sadducees, and the teachers of the law were opposed to Jesus and to his ministry, for the most part, because he claimed to be God (their Messiah), and because he confronted them with their sins, and because he didn’t do what they did.
They didn’t like him because he didn’t conform to their likeness. He wasn’t like them, and he stood out as different. They were jealous of him, too, and of his popularity (temporary) among the people. They felt threatened by him, as they were concerned their own positions of authority might be in jeopardy.
And, if we follow Jesus with our lives, and if we conform to his likeness, and if we do and say the kinds of things he did and said, and if we stand for truth and righteousness, and if we confront and expose evil for what it is, we also will be despised and rejected of men, and we will have much sorrow, too.
Isaiah 53:4-6 ESV
“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.”
But good came out of all that Jesus suffered on this earth. For, in his death on that cross, he took upon himself the sins of the entire world. He put those sins to death with him on that cross so that, by faith in him, we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24).
For, we were all like sheep who had gone astray, each one to his own way. We were dead in our sins, bound for hell, without hope, and without God. For all of us have sinned, and in ourselves we all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval and his righteousness (Rom 3:23).
But Jesus became our sacrificial Lamb whose blood was shed on that cross for the sins of the whole world. He died that horrible death, and he was raised from the dead, in order that we might be crucified with Christ in death to sin and that we might be raised with Christ to newness of life in him (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 2:20).
He died for us on that cross that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. For, he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God so that we would now be God’s possession, and so we would now honor God with our lives (1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21).
Isaiah 53:10-11 ESV
“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.”
It was the will of God which sent Jesus Christ, God the Son, to the cross to die for our sins. And it is the will of God that we who believe in him should die with him to sin and walk with him in holiness and in purity of devotion to him and no longer live according to our flesh (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
By faith in Jesus Christ, we are made righteous, but this is not just positional righteousness. For, it is those of us who practice righteousness who are righteous (1 Jn 3:7). For, we must walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh if we want to be saved and have eternal life with God (Rom 8:1-17; Rom 6:1-23; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
So, our hope in Jesus Christ is not just that we are forgiven our sins and that we are given the hope of eternal life with God. Our hope in Jesus is that he died for us to free us from our slavery to sin so that we can now walk in holiness and purity of devotion to him in the power of God.
And in that hope we are saved. And in that hope is where we live. For, if we walk according to our flesh, and if we make sin our practice, we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God (Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8).
By Jonathan Foreman
I give you my destiny
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it my all
So, I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope
Caution: This link may contain ads
Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of the singers or of all their music