THE MAN OF SORROWS
Today’s Reading: Isaiah 53-54
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Key Verses: Isaiah 53:6
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Chapter 53 should be read two or more times today in a quiet and reflective atmosphere. It would be good to back up to 52:13-15 for today’s reading. When the chapter divisions were chosen to make it easier to find specific Scriptures, they could have started Chapter 53 three sentences earlier with the words about the One Whose “Visage was marred more than any man.” There are 41 personal pronouns, “He” and “Him.” “He” is the subject of our attention. The object of God’s plan of Salvation is “Him.” One might almost think that Isaiah was standing there with Mary, Peter, John and the others at the foot of the cross, but Isaiah’s description of events was written hundreds of years earlier, long before crucifixion was used as a means of prolonged dying and death. Meditate on those pronouns! A pronoun takes the place of a noun. A noun is the name of a person, place or thing. A personal pronoun takes the place of a person. Ask the question: “What person’s name, of all people who ever lived, could be put there in place of those pronouns?” If our answer is “Jesus,” then let us read this powerful prophecy by substituting “Jesus” for each pronoun. For example, 53:5, “Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, Jesus was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Jesus, and by Jesus’ stripes we are healed.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
O Lord Jesus! O my Saviour and Lord Jesus! I give You all of me once again. I am not my own. You have purchased me with the blood of Your suffering! Fill me with as much of Your passion as You know I can bear. May I never be so selfish as to keep this to myself. Please equip me, Lord Jesus, with a greater passion for lost people for whom You “were led as a lamb to the slaughter” and for whom You were “numbered with the transgressors,” bearing all our sins. In Your Name (His name stands for all He is and has done) I pray. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I’ve just read Acts 8:26-39. It was Isaiah 53 that brought this treasurer of the Queen of Ethiopia to Jesus. The “pronouns” of Isaiah brought a Jewish medical doctor to Jesus. He was first violinist in a symphony orchestra. The full story is in the book, This Far By Faith (pages 113-116). If you don’t have this volume containing powerful stories of God’s love and grace, click here for ordering information. I had the privilege of teaching public school as an 18 year old. I would visit the homes of my students and ask if I could read Isaiah 53 and have prayer with them. I was never turned down. I could hardly see the keys of my computer through my tears as I typed the first part of this blog. I’m gaining my composure now, and I realize that I’ve not mentioned our other chapter in today’s reading. Here is the prophecy of the “children of the desolate” (that’s us, the Church). The “married woman” to whom Isaiah refers is Israel (Isaiah 54:1). Both the Church (made up of Jews and Gentiles) and Israel have glorious futures under the rule of Messiah!
Yours for sharing Jesus, the Name to which the personal pronouns of Isaiah refer,
P.S. The centrepiece in The Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is Isaiah 53 from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Isaiah was the only book of the Bible found complete in those scrolls, which were stored in clay jars and hidden in caves along the shores of the Dead Sea before the birth of Jesus! They were found by an Arab shepherd boy in 1948. How special is that?! Would you agree that God wants this message communicated to the whole world?