Jesus: “The Suffering Servant”
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