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Blog-Easter-Reflections

For Christians, Easter is the greatest holiday of the year. At Easter we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (for the narrative, see the following passages: Matthew 28:1-17; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-11). As you prepare yourself spiritually for this year’s Easter celebration, I have provided meditations for you from Isaiah’s fourth servant song which looks forward to Jesus’ death on the cross.

As you read the servant song, read slow enough to ponder each line of the song.

The Suffering and Triumphant Servant (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)

13    Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.

14    Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;

15    So shall He startle many nations
Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;
For what had not been told them they shall see,
And what they had not heard they shall consider.

Through Isaiah the Lord promised that His degraded Servant, Jesus, will receive the homage of nations some day in the future when they perceive the significance of His death. Many will be appalled at His inhumane treatment and disfigurement. Kings will be astonished when they comprehend the meaning of His debasement and the universal application of His death.

Therefore, we are grateful…
Grateful we can trust God’s plan – which included the death and future glory of His Son (v. 13).
Grateful Jesus was willing to go through all the suffering (v. 14).
Grateful Kings will ultimately bow in astonishment (v. 15).

53      Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2     For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

3     He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Isaiah reports that Israel will someday confess that at first they did not properly value the Servant. They lament that so few believed their testimony. They report that the Servant Jesus had no physical beauty or regal bearing to attract them to Him. He was not attractive. They report that the Servant was despised by man and that they did not properly value Him. They did not consider Him to be important, valuable, or kingly.

Therefore, we are grateful…
Grateful God is patient even with us when we did not properly value Him and when we still do not (vv. 1-3).
Grateful when we failed to “esteem/reckon” Him rightly, God did not reckon our sins against us (v. 3).

4     Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.

5     But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by 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 has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah now reports that Israel now realizes that the Servant bore God’s wrath against all their sin in order to set them free. The Servant Jesus bore the consequences of their sin, though they did not realize it at the time. Jesus bore, carried, was wounded, bruised, chastised, and striped. For what? For our griefs, our sorrows, our transgressions, our iniquities, our peace. The Servant was pierced through on account of their transgression, to heal them spiritually. Israel confesses that they were all guilty and that the Lord made His servant the object of His wrath for their guilt. Although we were the sheep who ran astray, Jesus bore the consequences for us.

Therefore, we are grateful…
Grateful Jesus, the Suffering Servant, bore the consequences of our sin on the cross (vv. 4-5).
Grateful Jesus received the punishment for our benefit (v. 5).
Grateful God made Jesus the object of His wrath and not us (v. 6).

7     He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.

8     He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

9     And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Isaiah reports for Israel the circumstances of the Servant’s death. He submitted Himself to death willingly (v. 7). His own generation did not understand the meaning of His death (v. 8). No one was willing to speak for Him. In fact, all the disciples ran. Peter denied. In the end, Jesus died. Although men assigned the Servant a grave with the wicked, the LORD saw to it that He was buried instead in a grave intended for a rich man, because He was just (v. 9).

Therefore, we are grateful…
Grateful Jesus was willing to die (v. 7).
Grateful that although no one in His generation was willing to stand, He still chose to stand for us (v. 8).
Grateful God put Him in the rich man’s grave instead of having Him buried in a common tomb (v. 9).

10    Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You 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 labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.

12    Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

God promises to prosper His Servant Jesus because He did His will in dying as a guilt or trespass offering. Having accomplished on the cross the Lord’s will in offering up His life as a guilt offering, Jesus will triumph (v. 10). God made Jesus suffer in order to provide redemption, a payment of sin for the world. God was and is pleased in the payment made by Jesus on the cross; therefore, God rewards Jesus and, by extension, those who trust in Him. Because of His suffering, many will be justified or saved (v. 11). Because the Lord’s Suffering Servant stripped Himself to bear the sin of many, He will be exalted (v. 12).

Therefore, we are grateful…
Grateful God accepted the sacrifice! (v. 10)
Grateful God saves us through the completed work of Christ on the cross (v. 11).
Grateful for Jesus bringing glory to God through His work on the cross (v. 12).

Easter Commemorates a History-Changing Event – Jesus’ Death on the Cross and Resurrection

The cross changes everything in history. Jesus’ suffering also changes everything in history. The resurrection changes everything in history too. The cross makes all the difference in the world. Jesus died to pay for the sins of mankind.

The cross also changes everything in YOUR history, present, and future. Jesus’ suffering also changes everything in YOUR history, present, and future. Jesus’ resurrection also changes everything in YOUR history, present, and future. If you have asked God to forgive you of your sins through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross, your entire life is changed. You’ve become a child of God. Your sins were paid for by Jesus. Since Jesus rose from the grave and now lives, you too will live throughout eternity with Him.

As we move toward Easter, I encourage you to mediate on the cross and grow in gratitude for what Jesus did for you.

Celebrate Easter with Us this Sunday at Sonrise or in a church wherever you are!

If you do not have a church to attend locally, please join us at Sonrise in Ozark for our Good Friday Service (5:30 PM) or Sunday morning Easter service (10:00 AM).
Sonrise is located in Ozark by Godfathers Pizza (map/directions).