home about speaking she cares resources contact

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Beautiful Thing

This Easter I've been struck with the power of the cross all over again.

God so desired to have a right relationship with us, He sent Jesus, His only son to earth. Jesus was all God and all man. Jesus lived a perfect life yet it was filled with suffering...For us.

"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering..." (Isaiah 53: 2b and 3a)

Beth Moore has an essay titled, "Beautiful." She says, "You know, I've never been a person who saw things like anyone else...Perhaps love is blind. On the other hand, perhaps only love can truly see. Because, my Christ, my Hope, I want you to know...You were always beautiful to me."
I happen to agree.

"But he was pierced for our transgressions...and by his wounds we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)

He loved us so much he didn't just suffer one wound that drew blood. He was pierced seven times. I heard this quote from a friend and it has touched me in a very deep place. "Blood flowed from His head, back, side, hands and feet. Seven places." He wasn't just pierced once for us. He, The King of Kings and Lord of Lords was pierced seven times for us.

When once would have been enough. He was pierced seven times.
He was pierced in seven places to totally cover us in his blood. Seven places that need covered and purified by his blood.
"His hands cover the sinful things we've done with our hands. His feet cover the places of sin we've walked. His back covers all the times we've turned our back on Him, and His side, which is really from His heart, allows our hardened hearts to be softened. It is all about His blood and the fact that we're being covered by it at all points." says Seth Gilbert of the contemporary Christian band, Seven Places.

"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." (Isaiah 53:5)

Jesus is to be our example in all things. This means how we handle suffering of any kind. Jesus accepted his Father's plan for his life...It was death, to become an atoning sacrifice for mankind.

How do I sacrifice myself for those I love? Am I silent when the mountains of laundry threaten to overtake our home? Am I silent when one or more children are up all night with viruses? Am I silent when pressures of many kinds threaten to overwhelm me? Am I silent when I myself am ill or suffering physically?

All too often, the answer is no. I whine, I complain, I "serve" with a grumpy and sluggish attitude. Forgive me, Lord. My sufferings are so small compared to yours!

"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." (Isaiah 53:11)

It is our suffering that leads us to see Jesus, the Light of Life. After we have suffered and come through it, we are satisfied. Only Jesus can satisfy so through suffering, we must find Jesus.
Praise God there is a wonderful purpose in suffering!

"For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53: 12b)

I love the fact that Jesus is praying for me. The ultimate act of intercession was made on the cross where he gave his perfect life as a sacrifice to allow me (and you) to have a relationship with him, with God here on earth and in heaven one day.

Jesus stepped in to give something that I will never have to give. Even if I wanted to give my life, I will never have a perfect life to give. Jesus did something no other human can ever do. He gave a perfect life, a blood sacrifice, to pay the price of all mankind's sin.

I would give my life in an instant for my children. But, would I sacrifice it for a stranger? Would I be willing to leave my children motherless, my husband a widower just so some strangers could go to heaven and be with Jesus one day? I guess Jesus didn't do this for TOTAL strangers...We were each one created by God in the image of One who knows us intimately.
So much to ponder.

Spend time this Easter reflecting and meditating on what Jesus did for us. Spend time in Isaiah 53, the Old Testament prophecy of God's eternal plan for the redemption that was to come.
This is where I'll be this Easter.

"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering...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...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...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...For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53:2b,3a,5,7,11 and 12b)

He is risen! Thank God for the power of the cross. He is risen, indeed!

6 comments:

Pam said...

This was a very timely and comforting post for me to read, Lisa. Thank you.
He is risen, indeed!
Happy Easter!

lisasmith said...

Happy Easter, Pam!!!

LIZZA said...

Especially liked the nitty gritty comparison of our households being swamped by laundry...etc. and how we bear up compared to our Lord, who, oppressed and afflicted, opened not his mouth...to complain. Your meditations are lovely.

lisasmith said...

Thanks, Lizza. You are such an encourager!

Nancy Coppock said...

You wrote the very song in my heart as I too meditated on the beauty of our Christ. How extraordinary the epic journey of God seeking us out for relationship really is. It is a story like a miraculous puzzle box where every piece fits in perfectly and at every point mysteries abound. This is not some story created by man. Instead of the distressful fruit of man, this story brings hope, security, peace, love of every variety. In it all things are held together.
Thank you.

lisasmith said...

Very well said, Nancy. Yes, in this relationship that is all about God and no one else all things are held together. Beautiful.