Engage Community Church


Jesus: “The Suffering Servant”

Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12

As we approach the Easter season, let’s take some time to focus on what the Cross and Resurrection really mean. One great way to do that is to read about them in each of the four Gospels. We encourage you to take some time each week to read and meditate on the greatest story ever told!

Another valuable way is to meditate on Isaiah’s prophecy about “The Suffering Servant,” which we know today is Jesus. In this passage, written about 750 years before Jesus, we see a depiction that is very different from many modern portrayals of Jesus. Instead of seeing a handsome, long haired man with a beautiful smile, Isaiah tells us “there was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance, nothing to attract us to Him.”

Isaiah tells us He would be “despised and rejected.” He then goes on to tell us in excruciating detail how “The Suffering Servant” would be tortured and killed. We read about Him being pierced and crushed and beaten and whipped. All of this was centuries before Crucifixion was even invented.

This is the “what” of The Suffering Servant. Isaiah also tells us the “why.” The Messiah does not appear in the flesh to simply give us a moral example or to show us what sacrificial love looks like. Instead, the “why” is so much greater. When Jesus bears sickness and pain, it is to carry it for us (v. 4, 11, 12). When He is crushed and pierced, it is on our behalf, we who have transgressed the Law of God (v. 5). All of the punishment that the Savior endured is on our behalf.   We are the ones who have committed the atrocities that punishment is doled out upon “The Suffering Savior.”

In verse 6 we find the phrase “the iniquity of us all.” The word “iniquity” may sound old and religious to our ears. It is both of these. In the Hebrew language, it means moral evil or perversity. Jesus arrives on Earth to gladly and willingly suffer the punishment due to us for our rebellion so that we can be reconciled to our perfect God.

These are the “what” and the “why” of our Suffering Servant. As Easter approaches, let us meditate on our own sin, the great love of God, the sacrifice of Jesus, and the power of His Resurrection!

– Pastor Dale

Spending Time With Our Master

Recently I read an interesting article about the effects that close emotional bonds may have on dogs and their owners. It seems that as dogs learn to hear the sounds produced by their master’s voice, they may actually develop regional accents. The study, conducted in the United Kingdom, suggested that dogs in Scotland have the most distinctive accent in the British Isles and the dogs in Liverpool sound just like The Beatles…okay, they don’t, but they do have higher-pitched barks as compared to the lighter tones of the Scottish dogs. Researchers concluded that dogs imitate their owners to bond with them. The closer a dog and owner were, the more similar the sounds of their vocalizations were.

While it is only one study and may seem far-fetched, there have been many studies that indicate dogs are affected by and take on characteristics of their masters. If a Yorkshire Terrier is in a home with small children, for instance, the dog tends to be hyper. If it is in the home of a retired widow, the dog will likely be more subdued. There is also the old thought that dogs end up looking like their masters.

Regardless of the level of legitimacy of these claims, it does bring up an interesting set of questions when we consider our relationships with the Lord. How much do we sound, act, and appear to be like our Master? Would people recognize His influence in the things we say and do? As we are actively reaching out to those around us, do they hear and experience the love, hope, and joy of Jesus in us?

The more we know Jesus ourselves, the more we can share Him with others. By having daily Quiet Times of reading the Bible, thinking through it, praying, listening in silence, and learning, we will know Him more and the Holy Spirit will make us more like Him. Our bond with our Master will be closer, and our lives more like His.

If you are not in the practice of a daily Quiet Time, I encourage you to start. The benefits of intimacy with the Lord will be a blessing to you, and to those you encounter daily. As we engage with the Savior, we are brought to life in Him and empowered to love others in life-giving ways!

– Pastor Evan