FOR THESE LAST TWO WEEKS BEFORE EASTER SUNDAY
WE WILL BE STANDING ON HOLY GROUND.
IN A CHURCH I USED TO FREQUENT IN KANSAS CITY,
THEY HAD COMMUNION EACH WEEK,
AND MANY OF THE YOUNG FERVENT BELIEVERS
TOOK OFF THEIR SHOES BEFORE WALKING UP TO THE ALTAR
TO RECEIVE COMMUNION.
I LIKED THAT.
AND FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS I’D LIKE US TO DO THE EQUIVALENT
IN OUR MINDS.
FOR IN THIS ULTIMATE SERVANT SONG,
FOR WE ARE, INDEED, STANDING ON HOLY GROUND.
OUR OWN PRECIOUS MARY E HAS A TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS.
OUR OWN CHRIS HAD A GODLY SON MURDERED.
HOW DO WE RECONCILE THESE THINGS WITH A LOVING GOD?
HOW DO WE GO ON WHEN WE ARE IN GREAT PAIN
AND GOD SEEMS SILENT?
ONLY BY LOOKING AT THE MAN OF SORROWS,
ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF.
TO PREPARE YOUR HEARTS, LISTEN TO THIS FROM
ANDREW PETERSON AND AUDREY ASSAD.
PETERSON REFERENCES A STATUE IN HIS SONG —
HERE ARE TWO FROM THIS MONASTERY IN KENTUCKY
DEPICTING HOW GOD SEEMED SILENT TO THE SON AS WELL.
AND IS THE ANSWER TO OUR OWN PAIN WHEN GOD SEEMS SILENT.
LET US TAKE OFF OUR SHOES, FOR WE ARE ON HOLY GROUND.
1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
2. Has the fact that we have a suffering Savior helped you with your own pain?
if you can share an illustration of why it has, do.
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY: Isaiah 52:13 through Isaiah 53:5
I know it is hard to read about how He suffered, yet it good for our souls.
3. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:5 and share anything that quickens you and why.
5. How do you see the truth of Isaiah 53:3 borne out in the life and death of Jesus? Give examples from the New Testament.
6. Why do you think men hide their faces from one who suffers so? How did Job experience the same thing? (See Job 19:17-19)
7. Many Jews feel that this is talking about Israel as a nation. What is incongruent about that interpretation? (Bock’s article will help you if you haven’t a clue! :-) )
8. According to Isaiah 53:4 and Isaiah 53:10, who willed that Jesus be smitten and
crushed? And why did Jesus comply according to Isaiah 53:5?
Last week my friend Twila and I and a new young friend went to see the controversial movie The Shack. There was much that I liked — much better than the book, but I also could see how an unbeliever could walk away from the movie putting it through his own filter and thinking that because God is love (which He is) that everyone will go to heaven. I don’t think that was what the movie taught, but because the crucifixion was not emphasized, you could walk away thinking that all are saved. It is vital for us to see not only the love of God but the holiness of God, and why a price had to be paid. (If you take an unbeliever, be sure to plan conversation afterwards!) Surely Isaiah 53 shows us the holiness of God and the great price that was paid for redemption to be possible.
9. What are some ways you can gaze on the cross and the holiness of God and also help anyone you are mentoring to do so these next few weeks?
THURSDAY-FRIDAY: Read a short article by Darrell Bock
Darrell Bock, leading Professor at DTS is one of my favorite commentators. As a man, he models godliness and a servant spirit. I wanted him to read through my studyguide on Luke since he had written a two volume commentary on Luke that received Christianity Today’s Book of the Year. I remember my publisher telling me they could not afford Bock — and I decided to write him, and he was willing to do it without charge. That tells you something of the man. He has also co-edited a book on Isaiah 53, and this is an interview with him published on the Gospel Coalition site. Read it and share your thoughts.
10. What were some of the main points Bock made? (You may need to read it several times.)
11. What comments or questions do you have?
12. What is your take-a-way and why?