The world rejected Jesus – from the mocking of his illegitimacy to the shouts of ‘Crucify him!’ at his trial before he was hung on the cross. For us. The prophet Isaiah predicted Jesus’ life and death hundreds of years before he was born to be our Saviour…
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Isaiah was granted a prophecy from God relating to the Lord Jesus. Isaiah couldn’t have possibly known what he was saying apart from the blessing of God’s Spirit revealing these words to him. Today we celebrate Good Friday, which is the day that Jesus was hung on a cross – the fulfillment of his mission in coming to earth.
This will seem to the world to be a nonsensical reason to be born. Who is born to die? Are we not born to live? We are, yet Jesus was born as a human, humbling himself in the form of humanity (Philippians 2) to identify with us in our every human temptation (Hebrews 4:15) so that he could be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. For our sins.
Isaiah describes Jesus as unattractive. Nothing made him desirable in his life – he was the son of an unwed mother – he was a disgrace before his people and it was a miracle to human eyes that Joseph was even willing to continue on and marry Jesus’ mother and take Jesus as his own son.
The world rejected him – his own people rejected him – from the mocking of his illegitimacy to the shouts of ‘Crucify him!’ at his trial. And he was thus crucified.
Isaiah points out that Jesus was punished by God for us. For our transgressions and iniquities he was punished. For our wanderings as sheep gone astray, Jesus was punished. The Lord placed all that sin of every person for all time upon his own son.
Yet Jesus did not open his mouth to defend himself. Jesus went to the slaughter as an unblemished lamb who was silent. He had done no violence. He had no deceit in his mouth. And still he was crucified for us. Because we had done violence. Because we had deceit in our mouths.
Jesus paid for our sins. Yours. Mine.
Consider the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice today. For us.