Greetings dear Readers! This post was meant for Good Friday, but honestly I needed a day of fasting and prayer, followed by rest and celebration on Saturday and Easter Sunday. My research, study, and reflection on The Servant Songs took me to a place of deep intimacy with Jesus the Servant through a new kinship with Isaiah the prophet. His words became images, scenes, and intimate connection. I wish I had better writing skills to convey the beauty of the Divine within the pages of Sacred Scripture and Holy Spirit revelation. My desire is to open the Word of God in ways you can personally read and reflect, and follow spiritual practices that are sacred pathways to experiencing the presence of God. Of course I would love your input and response because ultimately I learn by sharing in community and hearing how you also flesh out living as a follower of Christ in adventurous obedience!
The Servant: Lamb of God. Isaiah 53:6-12
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. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief… 11 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.
Stray Sheep. All of us. Isaiah introduces and closes verse 6 with “all of us.” We ALL are compared to stray sheep who often are so focused on the clump of grass in front of us, that we can get lost or fall off a cliff! As humans we want our own way, my way, individual sized everything including choices with bad eternal consequences. God has put all our foolish choices on the back of the Servant.
Sacrificial Lamb. Slaughtered for our sins. “Slaughter” is one of those horrific words in reality that we don’t want to see. Yet John sees in his vision in Revelations, both the glorified Lamb and the wounds of the slain lamb: “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.” And those with him sang a song of praise, “Worthy are you…for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language, and people and nation…” All of us.
What an amazing royal scene at the throne room of God. Yet the glorified Jesus, the Lamb, is standing “as though it had been slain.” (Rev.5:6) Jesus still bears the marks, the wounds of the gruesome death he bore as sacrifice for sin. Yes, by his wounds we are healed. What wounds can you lay open to the touch of his healing?
God’s Will. God wanted all this to happen?! “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him.” The Servant’s suffering is monumental as it satisfies all the unpaid debts of our behavior, debts we cannot pay standing alone before a just God. The Servant’s sacrifice made it possible for us to stand righteous before God. The crushing, though excruciating, is the process necessary for miraculous beauty and transformation. Our hearts of stone become flesh when we fall down, when we let go of pride and self, and we say, “I believe.”
FINAL REFLECTION. With my understanding of Isaiah, I have presented you with five characteristics of the Servant:
Chosen (42:1-9) “Behold my Servant..my Chosen in whom my soul delights.”
Beauty (49:1-7) “You are my Servant in whom I will display my Beauty.”
Awakens (50:4-9) “Morning by morning he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.”
Crushed (52:13-53:5) Behold my Servant…he was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities.”
Lamb of God (53:6-12) “Like a lamb that is led to slaughter…my Servant will make many to be accounted righteous.”
Which one(s) helped you to better understand The Servant Messiah (Jesus)? Which image helps you worship or be carried closer to God?
Would you be willing to email your reflections to me? I would be blessed. firstname.lastname@example.org