Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Way of the Cross (34)

As Isaiah 53 continues, we keep on seeing the intricate details writ large so many centuries before Jesus fulfilled them exactly. In the next stanza, we see the details of his trial, his burial, and the declaration of his innocence.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
(Isaiah 53:7-10)

Behold the Lamb of God, silent before his judge; committing himself to God, the just judge (1 Pet 2). In this he gives us the example to follow as we trace his steps and suffer wrong for the sake of the gospel. How quick we can be to protest at unfair treatment - and from so young an age.

If a sibling or friend got one more sweet than you, you were quick to protest. Even as adults, we can be quick to defend our own rights, but slow to consider the needs of others. As Christians, we are not guaranteed an easy life - persecution will come when we stand for Jesus, because if they hated him, they will hate you.

Can you follow the example of Jesus and endure when you do good and suffer for it? How much we need his grace, to follow in his steps, the grace that flows through his gracious sacrifice on the cross. It's a witness to a watching world, who may ask the reason for the hope that is in us, even when enduring trials.

O let me see thy footprints,
and in them plant mine own.

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