As I read through the Isaiah chapters for today’s readings, they were filled with prophesy of Jesus’ coming.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:1-3) NIV
Psalm 118 also has words proclaiming Jesus–
22 The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad. (Psalm 118:22-24) NIV
The Israelites waited hundreds of years for this prophesy to come true. And yet, so many of them missed Him because of their expectations of what it would be like when He arrived. I wondered that about myself. How often do I miss Him because my idea of what being a follower of Jesus looks like is different than God’s?
Every day we are surrounded by the majesty of God in nature and creation. There are people in our lives who love us, walk through trials with us, cry with us, laugh with us, and are there through thick and thin. They are Jesus in the flesh to us. Of course, there are people who annoy us, criticize us, and commit heinous acts against us or our loved ones. Those are the times we have to gird up everything within us to be Jesus in the flesh for others. Those are the times I have to remember what Jesus went through for my sins to be forgiven. That is what reminds me of what it is to be a true follower of Jesus.
Jesus came to this earth to show us who God the Father really is. He told us so many times that he only spoke what the Father wanted Him to say and do what the Father told Him to do. He taught us how to connect with our Creator and his act tore the veil that separated us. It is finished. Prophesy fulfilled.
I can’t imagine the concentration, focus, and fortitude it took to endure the cross and the mockery. Only total obedience to God the Father and the knowledge of knowing the purpose behind this crucifixion could have allowed the “Son of Man” to endure what was always the plan (Gen 3:15).
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. (Matt 27:38-44) NIV
Lord Jesus, may I never take for granted what you endured for me. One day I will see You face to face because of the cross. The Holy Spirit lives in me because of the cross. Nothing this life has thrown at me is worse than the agony you experienced. You were betrayed, denied, and mocked. You were tortured, beaten, and left to die in public humiliation. All for the Greatest Love anyone has ever shown humanity. All praises, honor, and glory to You forever and ever! Amen