Friday, April 10, 2009

Sacrifice

Who believes what we've heard and seen?
Who would have thought God's saving power would look like this?

The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost.
We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong,
on him, on him.

He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn't say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he'd never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn't true.

Still, it's what God had in mind all along,
to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
so that he'd see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
And God's plan will deeply prosper through him.

Out of that terrible travail of soul,
he'll see that it's worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
will make many "righteous ones,"
as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I'll reward him extravagantly—
the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn't flinch,
because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
he took up the cause of all the black sheep.

-Isaiah 53
(The Message)


Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends

-John 15:13
(New International Version)


My prayer is this: that you know Jesus Christ as your savior, your Beloved, your friend. I pray that you will claim Him as Lord over your life. I pray that you will know the sweet fragrance of His presence in your day. I pray you know that you were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139), with passion for a purpose.

3 comments:

ambersun said...

Hi again Amber

As it is Easter it's wonderful to know what Jesus did for us.

I also think it is important to imitate Jesus in many ways ie not looking down on people.

I love that passage in Isaiah - have read it several times.

God Bless

Amber

Michelle Whittaker said...

Amen, Sister~Friend! I love how the truth of God pours over us and refreshes us. Thank you, Jesus, for loving each one of us enough to lay down your life!

Lisa said...

I second that Amen! I seriously need to get that version! I love the passion that comes pouring out over the Word. Reading this version compared to my NIV, its eye opening!