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Friday, April 02, 2010

Beautiful Scars

I originally wrote this back in 2007 and posted it around Easter time. As I revisited it this week, I was struck anew with God's sovereignty. I remember vividly struggling through the daily with many babies and all that involved. The sickness, the laundry, the exhaustion, the loneliness. I recall how I wanted to cherish it, celebrate it and survive it all at the same time. I can still feel the guilt that threatened to overwhelm me because I loved what I was doing but the pressures of it seemed so heavy. As I look back, I can so clearly see how the desire to experience victory in the small is rallying inside me to desire victory in the large.

In The Message, Isaiah 53:1 says this, "Who believes what we've heard and seen? Who would have thought God's saving power would look like this?" I can totally identify with that question because that's exactly what I think about my current situation. Who would've thought that God's goodness would be displayed like this? Goodness that is so big and evident in the trial of cancer. Who would've thought?

I will spend this Easter pondering that. The life of our Lord, the King of Kings looked different than expected too. The promise I can hold onto is that God's purpose prevailed through this unlikely plan. I pray that His purpose will prevail in my life too. Even through the suffering of cancer, may many come to know His great goodness and love.

I pray you have a blessed Easter and make some time to celebrate with the Risen Lord.

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 people I am intimately acquainted with but don’t even know who I am yet could go to heaven and be with Jesus one day?
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!

10 comments:

His Love Extended--Julie Gorman said...

Praise God He is Risen! I still stand amazed that Jesus willingly took my shame...all my sin...and died for me!

Wow! His Love is so amazing! Thanks for another great post!

Julie Gorman
http://hisloveextendedministries.blogspot.com

Queenmothermamaw said...

Hello beautiful, faithful Lisa. I posted a short animated video of Jesus suffering on the cross. Many cannot look at it. It brings tears to my eyes also, but I know I need to be reminded how horrible it was for him and to see past that ugly scene of Friday. Why is it called Good? The faithful know way it is good. It gave us the Life. Blessings
QMM

Melanie said...

Beautiful! He IS Risen! Praise His precious, holy name! Thanks for sharing this beautiful post.

Love to your family as we celebrate His resurrection!
Melanie
~ melscoffeebreak.blogspot.com ~

Melanie Redd said...

Thanks for the reminders, Lisa, to be remember all that He did and has done for us. We do serve a beautiful Savior!

What a great word for Easter!

Blessings to you,

Melanie

Angel Muly said...

Absolute beautiful post. You are an amazing lady, Lisa. The love of Jesus just pours out of you. Praise God He is Risen. Love and prayers to you and your family!! Angel

Tammy Real-McKeighan said...

Oh my. How beautiful and timely. Thank you for your wonderful words.

Gigi said...

And now think...would you be willing to sacrifice one of your CHILDREN for the sake of others? How about your ONLY child? How about for those who hadn't even been born yet?

The depth of our Father's love for us is just beyond our human comprehension! But oh...how He loves us!

Wishing you and yours a blessed Good Friday as we contemplate His ultimate sacrifice and as we wait to commemorate that glorious morning when the tomb was empty and the Promise was fulfilled! He is Risen, indeed!!

Denise said...

So beautiful sweet sis, enjoy your Easter.

Tea With Tiffany said...

Stopping in to wish you an amazing Easter with your precious family. You are in my prayers.

B His Girl said...

Hey Lisa,

I used that verse from Isaiah last week in a talk...who would have thought God's saving power would look like this?
The more I get to know God, the more I see how different He is from me. His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are above mine. But He is good and great. Only He could make everything beautiful in its time. He will do that and we will be awe struck when He reveals Himself to us.
Prayed for you in the service today. Blessings, B