There is a visible characteristic that is present amongst a majority of religious leaders: pride. The presence of this attribute is one of the reasons that so many people are turned off from church or religion. The pretense of many men and women who espouse religious principles, from their great arrogance, is a great obstacle for many people.
When we examine the words and manner of living for Jesus, we see something far different. Although we learn much later that He believes Himself to be God, in every area of His life in which He presents Himself to us, we see a deep and abiding sense of humility. Continue reading “Many god's, Only One Became Our Servant”
This morning, just an hour ago, I spent a little time in the waiting room of a hospital near our home. While waiting to be called for a blood test, there were many people who were also waiting. A lady sitting next to me was wearing a mask. Her face was drawn, her hair swept and unkempt. She looks frail and had a plastic bag strapped to her right lower leg with urine flowing into the device. She looked across the room at a man in the distance and said: “hey aren’t you the guy who helped us the other day at the airport.” The man returned her question: “Yes that was me, how are you?”
As the conversation continued, all of us who were sitting nearby, understood that these two had been on waiting lists to receive a new kidney. We didn’t learn what had happened in their life that necessitated this new organs, only that they had been sick, for a very long time. The man who had helped the lady next to me had stated that this was his second kidney transplant. The first had lasted on a year before it failed. He had not been able to urinate for over six years, his bladder had shrunk to the size of a walnut. For six long years, he has endured terrible suffering and pain. Each week he was forced to endure kidney dialysis and after this most recent transplant, he must wear a painful catheter—24 hours a day. Continue reading “Be Thankful, Your Life Could Be a Lot Worse”
Isaiah 53:5b …The chastisement for our peace was upon Him…
Colossians 1:19-20 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Isaiah speaks of a chastisement that the Messiah will endure from God in order to make peace possible for us. The Bible is clear that all human beings are in a state of enmity with God in their pre-redemptive state. Because of our sins, we are alienated from God and we cannot have fellowship with Him. In order for fellowship to be possible, all of our sins must be taken away. According to Biblical principle, this can only occur when the penalty for our sins has been satisfied. Isaiah’s prophecy describes the Messiah taking the penalty we deserve and bearing the full wrath of God that was directed at us.
Understanding the wrath of God
One of the most misunderstood attributes of God is His wrath against sin. In the Old Testament, we see graphic illustrations of how this wrath is unleashed on sinners without mercy. To many, God’s anger is offensive and cause enough to flee from His presence. We should give careful consideration to why the Lord is angry against sin. God did not purpose human beings for the suffering we have endured for the past six thousand years. It is because sin came into the world that the good and perfect creation of God has been perverted and corrupted. What should be a wonderful and abundant life for all of us has been ruined by the wrongful actions of people who are doing what is right in their own eyes, without regard to the welfare of others.
Sin has prevented all human beings from experiencing the perfect life that God intended. It has caused unimaginable pain and heartache which has plagued our planet since Adam. When the Lord could endure our misery no longer, He allowed Jesus to come to earth and rescue us. In this amazing display of kindness, God allowed His own Son to take the wrath for our sins, so that we would all be spared from all future wrath.
Continue reading “Reconciling the Love of God and the Wrath of God”
Isaiah 53:5a But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…
What specifically, did Isaiah the prophet mean when He described our sins and the absolute necessity of the Messiah
death to remove those sins? Does this mean that there was no other method by which God could cause each one of us to be worthy of heaven? What is there about sin that is so mysterious and hidden from our understanding?
Isaiah said the Messiah would be wounded for the transgressions of human beings. He was bruised for our iniquities.
Transgressions: The actual sins that we commit against each other, our selves, and God.
Iniquities: The inequitable (unjust) acts of human beings in regards to what is right.
The purpose of the Messiah’s arrival was to die for our sins. We should never miss this important point in any discussion of prophetic fulfillment. If it were not for our sinfulness, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to die. We should thank the Lord every day that He loved and cared for us so greatly that He was willing to depart heaven, come to earth, to suffer unimaginable pain and suffering for us.
When I first learned what Jesus had done for me and how greatly He had suffered, I remember wondering why the whole world did not fall at His feet in thanksgiving and gratefulness. I later learned that most of the world does not consider that any of their actions would require a Savior. By its very nature, sin causes blindness. Jeremiah the prophet wrote that we are not aware of the deception which has been perpetrated against us. Even our own heart does not allow us to see the truth about ourselves.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
When the Bible describes our present condition, it does so in terms of darkness and blindness. The idea here is that we cannot see our true condition, and how desperate and hopeless our situation is. The Bible declares that without someone to help us, not one human being could survive the future judgement for sin that is the destiny of all those who are without Christ. Continue reading “We Cannot See the Reality of Our Own Destitute Condition”
One of the purposes of the Messiah was to bear the curse of our sickness upon His body, at the Cross, and deliver us from all sickness forever. This is widely debated amongst Bible commentators. You will find that opinions are about half against the Messiah bearing our sickness, and half for the Messiah atoning for our sickness.
Since all sickness is unnatural and caused as a direct result of sin, it is reasonable to assume that by the Messiah’s atonement on the cross, He was also removing our sickness.
Continue reading “Jesus Bore All Sickness While Paying For Our Sins on the Cross”
Isaiah vividly predicts an event 600 years before it took place; that God would send His Son to earth only to have Him spat upon by the people He is dying for. The prophet describes the Messiah’s submission to this cruelty by the very words of the Savior Himself: I gave My back, My face…
Isaiah 50:6c …I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
Matthew 27:29-30 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.
It is nearly unimaginable the horrors that Jesus endured while completing the sacrifice He made for our sins. Mobs of angry people gathered around Him, hurling their hatred, cursing, spitting and mocking Him in His pain. To be the King of the Universe yet brutalized and spat upon by the very people you are suffering for is a travesty of justice. Continue reading “Isaiah's Description of Messiah's Suffering: Spit Upon”
Matthew 27:26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
The purpose of the scourge was to exact a confession from the accused, before being put to death. Not that a confession would change the final disposition of the condemned, but for the purpose of setting an example for the crowd who were witnessing the judgment of a convicted criminal. Literally, all punishment that was committed against a breaker of the law, was for the purpose of preventing others from committing the same crime themselves.
The punishment of the guilty was intended to be the ultimate deterrent. A vividly bloodied criminal who was publicly put to death before crowds of people, might prevent others from going down the same path. Those who would see the sentence of death being carried out, might think again before committing the crime they were considering. It is certain that every person who watched a man die by crucifixion would leave the scene with a graphic reminder of what the consequences of disobeying the law would mean to them personally, should they commit the same act. Continue reading “How Much Jesus Suffered For Us”