“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
Yahweh was watching. Jesus grew up before His Heavenly Father like a tender shoot. Tender in this vulnerable state of humanity. Mary handled the late night feedings while God watched on, tenderly. He came out of dry ground. A ground of sin waiting for the water to cause new life the earth had been missing for so long.
He came with no desirable trait – that He might turn upside down our understanding of true beauty. Did Christ feel the world’s watchful eye? Yes, He did in full.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
A man of sorrows. While we read books entitled Ten Steps to Happiness. Is happiness overrated? Where is the sorrow? The heartache for a people, for our God? When we tire of the work, the call – let us remember our Lord. When we desire the easy life and wonder where God is in suffering, let us look to the Son. He chose suffering for us.
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Have you felt smitten by God? Go to the cross.
Jesus said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Right here….Jesus experienced the very first “dark night of the soul.”
He was crushed….so that we would not be. “For we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed..” 2 Cor 4:8
Look upon his pierced side and ask, “what sin is greater than this?” Where, oh death, is your sting, now?
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
What burden can our Lord not handle? What heaviness do we fear give him? He has carried the whole world…on his very self.
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”
He did not open his mouth. Can you see him? The lamb, walking to his death for us. How many times do we defend ourselves? Our motives – our good intentions. To God and others. How defensive are we? To protect how others perceive us. To protect our lives.
He did not open his mouth. So that now He is our great defender. He gave up defending Himself so He could defend us. He traded himself in. Do we allow Him to be our defender? To “work all things out.”
“By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.”
Oppression did not miss our Christ. He has felt the heavy weight of the world. The deep waters have covered him, too. There is no darkness into which He cannot walk with you.
“He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.”
He had an assignment – even to slay death. The word “death” here in Hebrew is actually plural. It has been suggested that is speaks of the magnitude of pain and violence Christ suffered, such that it would be like dying many deaths. For you.
Do I have any deceit in my mouth, Lord?
“Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.”
Let us not miss this! Christ understands the suffering of our souls! Our mind, our emotions, our very heart pains. The stress upon him was unbearable, unto tears of blood. When you are stressed within, He can help.
So what is our best defense? Our citadel in a world not our own? The blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony.
His blood is our testimony.
His death is our life.
His life – our defense forever.