The Suffering Servant
Does it surprise you that Jesus had to suffer so that we could be saved, that suffering was the plan?
It was not that Jesus wanted to suffer (He did not) but that Jesus was willing to suffer (and He was) that strikes me most and grabs my heart and impacts my thoughts. It is that willingness – even when He could have refused it – that draws me to Him.
Think of it: Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus, Son of God and son of David… Jesus did for you and me what no one else could do. But it cost Him… dearly. And yet, He looked upon you and me in our sinfulness, when we were His enemies, ungodly, powerless. He looked upon us and was willing to pay the price. Does that not stir your heart and motivate you?
Romans 5:1-12 (read)
Can I give you some very old news? We live in a fallen world. We are born under the shadow of the sin of Adam and Eve who disobeyed God’s word long ago. We enter a dark world where sin and death reign.
Jesus was born into the same world as us. His entry into this fallen place is as amazing as His exit from it. The fact that God would take on flesh and live as a fellow human among fallen fellow humans is as ironic as it gets.
The Bible gives us the picture and tells us the history of all this.
The first book of the Bible tells us how God made man in His own image and in His own likeness. The first books of the New Testament tell us how God became a man and lived among us as one of us. God became a man…
The King became a servant
The Lion of Judah became the Lamb of God
The Creator took upon Himself the form of the creature
The all powerful God became a limited and weak human embryo
He who had absolute glory and authority emptied Himself and took on absolute humility and vulnerability.
He who could not be tempted entered temptation.
As Peter put it: The author of life was put to death.
John Paul, a second grader in my Bible class on Tuesdays has been in my class for two years now. The first year we studied through the gospel of Mark. John Paul was not buying it. When we got to the crucifixion and resurrection he said that it was crazy. He simply didn’t believe it was true. Well, that just about kills me to have a student act like that. Well, this year the seed of the gospel has begun to take root. This year we are studying Acts and we were reenacting the third chapter where Peter and John go up to the temple at the hour of prayer, heal a lame man and proclaim the gospel. John Paul was Peter and when the crowds came up and John Paul gave his lines he said, “Why do you stare at us as if by our power or authority we healed this man? It is by the name of Jesus who you crucified … and at that point John Paul pointed his finger to individuals in the crowd and went impromptu. As he pointed he said, “you did and you and you and then he pointed to himself and said, and I crucified Him too.” The look on his face said it all. John Paul got it. Jesus died for me and because of me.
Jesus did it. This is true, all because He was willing. He was willing.
Song: There was one who was willing to die in my stead that a soul so unworthy might live. And the path to the cross He was willing to tread, all the sins of my life to forgive. They are nailed to the cross, they are nailed to the cross. O how much He was willing to bear! With what anguish and loss, Jesus went to the cross, but He carried my sins with Him there.
Jesus chose you. He paid for you. He suffered as a willing sacrifice for you. Jesus Christ has earned you. Rev. 5:9-14 He purchased us with His blood.
He did it! God the Father planned it. The Holy Spirit foretold it. Jesus Christ performed it. For you.
Are you and I willing to suffer for Him?