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Read:  Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Focus:
“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, …”  Isaiah 53:10

This section of scripture is such an obvious prophecy of the Messiah, Jesus, and His journey to the cross. In this prophetic picture, I am reminded of two things: the suffering of our Lord and His immeasurable love for us.

Jesus knows what it feels like to be rejected and not valued. He knows what it feels like to be falsely accused. He knows what it feels like to be abandoned by those He loves. He knows and understands excruciating physical pain.

He doesn’t know and understand these things because He just happened to go through a hard time. He knows and understands suffering because He chose to experience it. Not because He enjoys pain, but because knew what His pain would bring. It was His “will.”

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer…  Isaiah 53:10

Hebrews 12:2 says, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame…” (emphasis mine).

And Ephesians chapter one talks about how this plan of His was according to His “pleasure and will.” He willingly endured pain for you and for me. And He did it because He loved and valued us so much that He wanted a future eternity that included us.

This passage in Isaiah foretells of the pain Jesus would experience in life and death and as a result reveals how much we mean to Him. Since this was a prophecy of future events, we can see that it was His plan. These things didn’t just happen. I don’t want to take that lightly.

He could have stayed comfortable and in the presence of the rest of the trinity for all eternity, I’m sure that was joyful enough. In the trinity, God has all He needs to live fully satisfied for all of eternity.

But, because He loved us, Jesus:

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took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.

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But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

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We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

God loves you and me in a way that we will never fully understand or comprehend this side of heaven. It was His “will”, His “pleasure”, His “joy” to do what it took to bring us back into a right relationship with Him. Never doubt His absolute, unending, and unwavering love for you. No matter what you have done, where you have been, or whom you have been with, His love for you remains. He willingly took those iniquities (sins) on Himself and by HIS wounds you are healed.

If you find yourself in a painful place today, know that you worship a God who not only sees you, not only loves you, but understands how it feels to be in pain and He has compassion on you. So much so, that He chose to suffer in order that some day, you won’t have to cry or feel pain anymore.

If you are not in a painful place today, Praise God! Hold on to these truths for a time to come. Because, unfortunately, you and I both know pain will inevitably come. Our God is no stranger to suffering, no stranger to pain. He sees you, He understands you, He has compassion for you and most of all, loves you.

Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Prayer:
Father, thank you that you considered it joy to suffer on my behalf. Thank you for your love. Thank you that you understand what it feels like to live a painful life on earth. May I keep my focus on you as I go through the trials of this life. May I remember your suffering and find strength in your love and compassion for me. As much as my messed up human heart can, Lord, I love you back. Amen

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