02 April 2023

Love, Messiah Style

I continue the theme of Christ's love as expressed through his atonement and condescension through taking on himself our life travails and suffering as we do. Jesus understands us and our sorrows and tolerated injustices quietly and far beyond any that we might endure. He deserved far better treatment in life and got far worse than he deserved, yet his supreme acts were not to justify himself - he triumphed for our deliverance from sin and death.

1 Yea, even doth not Isaiah say: Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he opened not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no evil, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah truly saw Christ and his doings.

It must be recalled, as pondered in the Godfather analogy, that Christ does our Father's will above all other things.  Jesus suffered and died because God the Father instructed him to do so. The Lord is the ultimate example of obedience to his Father and we are expected to obey as he did.

We are not asked to do the things that Christ did through his atonement. We are not required to take on us the sins of others (actually, we can't) and we don't have to die on a cross. However, we are to love others as he did, calling all to repentance or changing for the better, aligning ourselves with God's agenda for our exaltation and never-ending joy and also inviting all around us to the same alignment and path to Jesus.

Come, follow him!