We just finished the Gospel of Matthew. We walked with Jesus from birth through ministry, to the cross and then to victory over sin and death. However, did you know that the very scene depicted in the Gospels by eyewitnesses Matthew and John, as well as historian and investigative reporter Luke, was described perfectly by the prophet Isaiah over 700 years before? Yes! Christianity actually begins in the Old Testament! Though the title “Christians” wasn’t used until Acts 11, Christianity truly begins with the Jews! Let’s dig in…
Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
2 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
Points to Ponder
- It’s interesting that Jesus is described as average or ordinary. When you look at how Jesus is depicted in paintings, sculptures, and movies, He’s always shown as handsome. In more recent movies, however, the actors portraying Jesus are more Middle-Eastern-looking, like in the Lumo Project pictured here.
- Ever since Jesus was born, there were people wanting to kill him. Starting with King Herod, the Great, down to the Pharisees and the Jewish leaders.
- Once Jesus was arrested, His disciples turned on Him. They fled and hid. The only disciple that was at the cross was John.
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.
7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.
Points to Ponder
- Jesus carried ALL our sins on Him.
- He never said a word.
- Beaten, tortured harshly.
- Even Pilot said that He was innocent, that He had done nothing wrong.
- Barabbas, who was let go instead of Jesus was a rebel. The people preferred someone who would lead them in rebellion against the Romans. That’s something Jesus was not going to do.
- Joseph of Arimathea loaned Jesus his tomb.
10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush himIsaiah 53 NLT
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.
12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.
Points to Ponder
- The Jews had to offer sacrifices to atone for their sins over and over again. It was a ritual. Kind of like what the Catholic Church makes its parishioners do. Jesus came as part of God’s plan to stand in as our sacrificial lamb and atone for our sins once and for all.
- Jesus never married and never had children. Nevertheless, each person who accepts Him as their personal savior, becomes His heir, His descendant.
- Jesus bore all our sins so we, as believers, can now be counted righteous or right with God.
- He will live forever as will we, when we believe. Eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth will be wonderful.
- No matter how bad your sin is, Jesus covered it! Even Barabbas was covered. All he had to do was believe. That’s all you have to do.
Do You Believe?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…