June 30, 2021

The Suffering Servant

There's no more amazing passage in the Bible than the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. In it, Christians see the face of the Crucified and make connections between his pain and our wholeness. Yet whether we read of the suffering servant in Isaiah or of the crucifixion in one of the gospels, our first reaction is incredulity.
Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
 Isaiah 53:1
How can we encounter the Sovereign of the universe in the afflicted, distorted face of a tortured soul? What can the death of Christ possibly tell us about the Almighty? Yet in this account, the faithful still hear the call of God: He has borne our infirmities, he was wounded for our transgressions, upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. 
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There are many miracles we can talk about when it comes to Jesus, and there are some pastors who talk of nothing but prosperity and blessing. But to listen for God's voice, and to share the gospel with those around us, we must start with the cross if we're to end up outside an empty tomb.

Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
 1 Timothy 6:12
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Glory be to you, God our strength and our redeemer. The vacant cross and the empty tomb vindicate your claim that the love which suffers is the love which saves. So fill your people with joy and your church with celebration that the world may know that your holy Son Jesus is not a dead hero we commemorate but the living Lord we worship.
 Common Order, Church of Scotland
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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