Friday, January 11, 2013

All the Way to the Cross

This is day two of my birthday celebration.
Why confine the party to only one day??
At least that seemed to be the plan as far as a few friends were concerned!
Today I arrived at the rehab where my friends surprised me with a cake, cards and flowers.  Two of the guys even had a few words to say!
I don't think it was their intention to make me cry, but they did!
All tears of joy.  What a privilege to spend time with these dear ones!

You know what is behind my visits to them and also what brings about such scenes?
The tender love of our precious Savior.

It is that love that we explored as we looked at some of the gifts that He offers us.
On day three of that study we found ourselves in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah.
Though I only quoted three verses, which are below, there is so much more to learn from the whole chapter!
"Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.  But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering...As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities." 
Let me share what I found, first, in those three verses.   A picture is drawn of  our Suffering Savior, who took on Himself all our griefs and sorrows and if that wasn't enough bore our sins.  He not only bore them, but was crushed and chastened for them.
Such tender love.
The perfect One submitting Himself to set us free!
If that isn't tender love, I do not know what is!

As we read the opening verses of the chapter, the picture is drawn of One who was willing to come with His beauty concealed; willing to be despised and forsaken for us.
Yes, for us!!

Later in the chapter we are reminded that He did not try to defend Himself, but chose humility.
The Almighty God was willing to humble Himself before His creatures for their (our) sake!
As the Second chapter of Philippians tells us,
"And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
All through the chapter we read over and over of His suffering, but we also read that it was the goal of  
"justifying the many."
This Beloved is how far our True Love's love took Him!
All the way to the Cross.

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