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MAN OF SORROWS SMITTEN BY GOD

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.

SO OFTEN WE DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT GOD IS DOING.

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.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O1bNzlv7tg&list=RD2O1bNzlv7tg#t=11

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.

ISAIAH 53 IS THE HEIGHT OF OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY

AND IS THE ANSWER TO OUR OWN PAIN WHEN GOD SEEMS SILENT.

LET US TAKE OFF OUR SHOES, FOR WE ARE ON HOLY GROUND.

SUNDAY:

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.

4. Comment on Isaiah 52:14 and Isaiah 53:2. Why was he so disfigured?

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.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-suffering-servant-and-isaiah-53-a-conversation-with-darrell-bock

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?

SATURDAY

12. What is your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

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102 comments

  1. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why? Both the song and the statues…how precious, beautiful, and heart-breaking.  
    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.  Oh YES.  I have one friend who I speak to often (from nursing school) and many others who I no longer have as much contact with, who seem to be of the persuasion that because He suffered we should not have to…we only have to if we “accept it, speak it, etc…”  (very much the health, wealth, prosperity gospel.)  But one night, early-on when this breast cancer had first resurfaced and I had just been put on anti-estrogen meds to reign it in (which caused a major flare in my bone pain, which they say is a good thing, indicating it will work for a while) I remember not breathing well, due to the fluid on one lung, aching to badly I was laying in bed crying, and thinking, “now I understand the fellowship of His suffering…but still it’s nothing compared to His suffering.”  And saying to God, “Father, if this suffering can cause me to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus as a result, then thank you for this pain…but I’m asking that You would mercifully let it ease up.”  (I had taken a small pain pill, but of course not enough;) )  I’m not sure how Believers who think we should virtually never suffer think they can go deeper with Christ.  How does that work?  I mean I love all the joys in life as well, and feel very close to Him just watching a sunset, and suffering is not something that anyone would wish for, but it has definitely added a new dimension to union with Christ in my life.  And who knows?  Maybe I’m just a tough nut to crack and this is what it required for me, but not for others?

    1. Mary e, your words fall on me like soothing balm on a weary soul. You have such a sweet spirit. Your example teaches me so much. I can hardly wait to meet you in heaven with your glorified, fully healed body and give you a deep hug and listen in person to the wisdom you have learned at Jesus’ feet. 

      “I remember not breathing well, due to the fluid on one lung, aching so badly I was laying in bed crying, and thinking, “now I understand the fellowship of His suffering…but still it’s nothing compared to His suffering.”  And saying to God, “Father, if this suffering can cause me to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus as a result, then thank you for this pain…but I’m asking that You would mercifully let it ease up.”  (I had taken a small pain pill, but of course not enough;) )  I’m not sure how Believers who think we should virtually never suffer think they can go deeper with Christ.  How does that work?  I mean I love all the joys in life as well, and feel very close to Him just watching a sunset, and suffering is not something that anyone would wish for, but it has definitely added a new dimension to union with Christ in my life.”

  2. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    The song-“ And the man of all sorrows, He never forgot What sorrow is carried By the hearts that He bought So when the questions dissolve Into the silence of God The aching may remain But the the breaking does not”
     
    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.
    I have definitely experienced a deeper fellowship with Jesus in my pain—both physical trials and deep relational, emotional ones. The 4 most difficult come to mind, two are past, two still present, and I can (mostly) say I would not want them gone, for I can see the ways they have deepened my faith and given me an intimacy with Him I’m sure I wouldn’t have otherwise. And yet, there are longing, there are dreams, that have been lost, and I cannot deny the ache isn’t there. But I think lately what has become clearer to me, is that Jesus’ suffering shows me there is no shame in suffering. His suffering was not His fault, and I do believe mine is not either. Suffering does not mean your faith is too small or that you have necessarily sinned and deserve it. But Christ models for me humble suffering. Submitting to the Father, believing His sovereignty still reigns, and trusting in His perfect will. 
     

  3. “Suffering does not mean your faith is too small or that you have necessarily sinned and deserve it. But Christ models for me humble suffering. Submitting to the Father, believing His sovereignty still reigns, and trusting in His perfect will. ”
    YES!  So well said, Lizzy. 

    1. I haven’t see it, but I’ve always liked thinking of the Trinity as H2O.  It can be in three forms:  liquid (as in water), solid (as in ice) and gas (as in steam) but it is all still the same substance, H2O…still has the same, basically molecular make up but in different forms and with different functions.  Just thought I’d put that out there, incase is helps anyone. 🙂

  4. What stands out?
    The song, Silence of God. “the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God”. There is something holy and also achingly lonesome about living in the midst of brokenness this life – in our brokenness and the brokenness of others. Sometimes we cannot “fix” it, we must just trust it to the Father and believe He has it in His hands, though we do not see any change for the better. We have to live in the sorrow and the silence, in the “not knowing”, yet knowing because Jesus died for this sorrow and pain, one day all ill be healed. 

    1. I have to say I literally got goosebumps reading this post, Diane.  Powerful:  “We have to live in the sorrow and the silence, in the “not knowing”, yet knowing because Jesus died for this sorrow and pain, one day all ill be healed. ”  Thanks for sharing this.

    2. Diane–this made my eyes fill, ” Sometimes we cannot “fix” it, we must just trust it to the Father”. you touched me right in a tender spot–I am experiencing a painful brokenness in my extended family–some has been ongoing, but a deeper rift today–and all of it, I feel so very confused by, so helpless to do anything to “fix” because I do not even understand what I did wrong. Sorry to ramble here, but this just spoke to me–I must trust it to the Father. thank you for sharing. 

      1. Lizzy, sorry for the “deeper rift”. My heart and prayers go out to you.

  5. 3. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:5 and share anything that quickens you and why.
    He is God’s servant (52:13) yet nothing about Him, His appearance, is desirable or Kingly (52:14, 53:2)
     
    I am always most struck by 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. I am convicted of the ways I have rejected Him, humbled by the pain He endured for me. He was “acquainted” with grief, He knew it well, it was familiar to Him. 
     
    And then verses 4 and 5, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;” all of what Christ suffered on the Cross, as hard as it is to read, it is real, and it should have been me. When I personalize these verses, He was pierced for my transgressions, He was crushed for my sins, and He was silent. He did not defend Himself–for if He had, He had the power to overturn, to save Himself. But He chose me. He paid my penalty, my punishment, wore my crown of thorns, took my deserved beatings–all so I would never have to, all so I would be healed of sin’s mark on me, and declared righteous.
     

  6. “Go to dark Gethsemane, Ye who feel the tempter’s power.  Your Redeemer’s conflict see. Watch with Him one bitter hour. Turn not from His griefs away; Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.”  – James Montgomery (1771-1854)
    The depictions of the Garden scenes are just devastating. How often are we willing to wait with Him, to pray, to agonize with our Saviour over His griefs, over our griefs as well (our family members and friends and neighbors who may not know His love or the great sacrifice made by the Son of the Living God on our behalf?)
    These pictures are achingly beautiful.  Thank you, Dee, for posting this.  He bore our sorrows. May Christ Jesus strengthen us in our trials. And may wave upon wave of His peace wash over us.

  7. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
     
    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.
     
    I also liked the idea of taking off our shoes when we come to the communion table.  What a great way to demonstrate that we are on Holy Ground!  I have experienced some times when I felt I was standing on Holy Ground, but it didn’t occur to me to take my shoes off at the time.   I probably should have.   I’m thinking of the time in the Old Testament when Moses was instructed to take his shoes off because he was on Holy Ground.  That may be how the young people at the church in KC got the idea.   However, the idea of taking our shoes off when we are suffering because we know He is present with us through our suffering is a new concept for me.  I have been driven to my knees, but I have never removed my shoes.    

    I am having some formatting problems as I type here.  I hope it doesn’t post in huge letters and all in bold.   If it does, please forgive.  I don’t know how to correct it.                                                                                                                               

  8. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
     
    How life aches at times and how I struggle to remember the ultimate price paid on the cross, is what stands out to me. I am fairly tired of the “grind” of life.
     
    The other thing that that stands out is the people who took off their shoes for communion. As a liturgical dancer, we tend to not wear shoes to dance. I feel an understanding of their behavior. We indeed, are dancing on holy ground.

    1. Laura–neat connection, picturing you dance in worship without shoes–yes, dancing on Holy Ground. I like that. 

  9. 4. Comment on Isaiah 52:14 and Isaiah 53:2. Why was he so disfigured?
    Isiah 52:14 describes the effects of the torturous beating and whipping of Christ that led to complete bodily disfigurement. 

    Isaiah 52:2—there was nothing grand, strong, or majestic about Jesus. He was tender, plain, humble.

    I was thinking too about 52:3, He was “acquainted with grief”—I would think such a life of sorrow and rejection would bring a heaviness to the appearance, and weakness to the body.
     
    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.
    Mark 10:33-34 “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn Him to death and hand Him over to the Gentiles, who will mock Him and spit on Him and flog Him and kill Him. And after three days He will rise again.”

    John 1:10 “He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.”

    John 1:11 “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”

    Matthew 27:29-30 “and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.”

    Matthew 13: 53 “And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?  And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him.”

    Matthew 27:46–He is forsaken by God, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
     

  10. I have to admit I never want to suffer, but when I have had pain in my life it has definitely drawn me closer to God. Emotional suffering & loss of dreams has driven me to the Lord, & knowing that I am suffering with Him & that He suffered for me, has given me comfort & purpose in the midst of it. Knowing He was rejected & misunderstood even by His own family, has made that easier to bear.  We just had a wonderful message at church today about Joshua. When he was confronted with the Lord of the armies of heaven (Christ Himself),  he was told to take of his shoes cause he was on Holy ground. Pastor said, that anything that comes between us & God needs to be removed (like the shoes), so we can worship & give Him full authority in our lives.

  11. Dee, so glad the retreat went well & that the mike worked! Have a wonderful & refreshing time with your son & family 🙂

  12. Wow.  Such good posts already, and we are still in Sunday!
     
    1.  What stood out was the song.  Speaking of how we can be so broken and need God and only get silence.  And that is what Christ got in the garden.  I think in my life when it has happened, I’ve realized that if I only follow when it is easy and pleases me, it is a pretty paltry following.  But if I follow when it is hard and painful and silent, that shows a different and deeper commitment and love.
     
    2.  How does having a suffering Savior help your own pain?  Knowing He never asks us to go thru anything He hasn’t already done on our behalf, and He only asks when it is needful for us or for the kingdom.  The Bible says He endured the cross for the joy set before Him.  In other words, He focused on what was beyond.  And He asks us to do the same.  I heard the story of a very disabled boy that someone asked why he didn’t resent God for his inability to do things like other boys.  The boy said in reply that God had all eternity to make it up to him.  I want to have that perspective and focus.

    1. Beautiful Mary! 🙂

  13. 3. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:5 and share anything that quickens you and why.
     
    The part about being saved by His sacrifice makes me reflect.
     
    “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/isa.53.5.esv
     
     
    This song by Third Day reminds me of this scripture:
     
    https://youtu.be/WhEm6ccgWcQ 
     
     

    1.  I think my link did not work, so here’s another: 
      https://youtu.be/nK9uk47hAZc
       
       

  14. 4. Comment on Isaiah 52:14 and Isaiah 53:2. Why was he so disfigured?
     
    He was beaten badly by the soldiers. I suppose God wanted us to “see” the sin, how ugly and disgusting it was/is? 
     

  15. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    I looked at this early yesterday and fled.
    Came back this morning, the song is helping.
    The picture of the statue of the Father and Son gave me shivers.
    This is hard for me, so so hard still. I don’t want to be held captive by the pain, but I don’t want to touch it either.

    My soul feels deep and muddy.

    I wish I were further down this path than I am after 6 years have passed.

    1. oh dear Chris, praying for you now as I read this. love you sister~

    2. Chris, 
      Oh Chris, praying now..Love you so. 

    3. Praying now Chris. We love you dear sister.

    4. Chris, hugs to you. Grieving takes time. God is still at work and your being here is such a blessing and testimony to us here — just as you are. Praying for you now.

    5. Chris I want to add my prayers to the others for your encouragement. I sat on the floor in a pool of tears a few years ago with my mother-in-law as she sorted through her daughter’s things. My sister-in-law died unexpectedly. I observed the depth of a mother’s grief. It was a deeply painful time but I can attest to the faithfulness of God Who sat there with us. 

    6. Chris, praying for you and your pain. I cannot fathom.

    7. How are you Chris? A big hug for you today-if I were closer I would come over. I love you sis. 

  16. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    “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.”
    I haven’t  meditated on Jesus experiencing the silence of God in the garden…On the cross and God turned His face..But in the garden too. So while He was experiencing pain He also experienced the deeper pain of God’s silence. 
    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.
    Yes. He is helping me now in two painful scenarios going on in the past and lingers now. I have felt this cold alone-ness in God’s silence to my pleas. Many times the Prodigal son story comes to mind and lately how the Father let him go in his folly. He didn’t try to force him to stay-yet His heart was broken. God is chiseling some stones in my heart that have arisen in the pain and our communion has been sweet. It is strange-there are times I feel alone and cold in God’s silence, then there are times I sense Him moving. It is upside down that God would be silent when Jesus cried out-yet it is beautiful at the same time for while it is a mystery it is beautiful that He is a man of sorrows acquainted with Grief-He knows my grief and is walking with me through it-Christ inside me, around me, holding me.  

  17. 3.  Isaiah 52:13-53:5. What I see over and over is the fact that He faced this suffering for us.  He didn’t have to, but He choose to.  We were/are that important to Him.  He loves us that much.  I can’t really wrap my mind around a love like that.  Yet, I tend to take it for granted.  But it is not a given, a right. It is a gift.  Is should make me eager to do anything for Him, to suffer with Him or for Him and see it as privilege.

  18. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why? 
    What stands out to me are Dee’s comment & questions “So often we don’t understand what God is doing.  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.”
    As I recognize the reality of deep deep heart needs around me I am reminded that the deep pains of life, physical and emotional cannot be reconciled or dealt with apart from Jesus, His Cross and the Word.  
    2. Has the fact that we have a suffering Savior helped you with your own pain?  
    Yes when I have pain in my life where else can I go? It is only because He is a suffering Saviour that any comfort can be found.  We live in this fallen and broken world.  It is Jesus himself Who brings us hope because his example is complete by what he experienced and did by suffering and going to the Cross.  
       if you can share an illustration of why it has, do.
    My personal suffering and pains in life pale in comparison to many others But as I observe and listen to the hearts of others like Mary E and Chris I hear the thread of something I have observed in those who seek to walk with God through their pain and suffering. One of my closest and dearest friends has suffered deep emotional pain and also much physical pain over a number of years now. Breast cancer being the last battle for her. My relationship to her is grounded in our relationship to Jesus and His Word. As we have shared our hearts she has said the very same thing Mary E did about laying in her bed crying from the pain and understanding the fellowship of His suffering. When I hear these things I sense I am standing on Holy ground. 

  19. Just a note regarding my close friend. Breast cancer is not her last battle but rather her most recent one. She is in remission at this time but reconstruction has been a physically draining time of pain & recovery. 

  20. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    There is so much suffering in this world that I cannot wrap my head around…I know that it was not part of God’s original plan and is ultimately the result of sin, not necessarily the individual suffering, but going all the way back to the fall in the garden of Eden.  I remember when I used to ponder the inhumanity of the holocaust and question how that could have ever occurred, and then there is child abuse, the murder of innocents, human slavery and trafficking…so, SO much suffering in this world.  My solace comes in the knowledge and trust that the Lord is sovereign…my finite mind cannot comprehend His infinite ways and wisdom.  I rest in Him…”So Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you want to leave too?”  Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go; You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God.”
     
    I was struck by the pictures of the statues, Jesus praying/pleading in the garden and the disciples sleeping…are they at the monastery that Thomas Merton founded (Abbey of Gethsemani)?  I will be in Kentucky in July…if I am close enough, it would be neat to stop and see them first hand.

    2. Has the fact that we have a suffering Savior helped you with your own pain?
    I find it rather foreboding…if Jesus suffered to the extent that He did, then why not I as a follower of Jesus?
     
    3. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:5 and share anything that quickens you and why.
    v. 14, “is appearance was marred more than any man and His form [marred] more than the sons of men.”
    I remember watching the Passion of the Christ for the first time and really being impacted by the flogging; I guess I didn’t really comprehend what flogging was until I actually saw it…I cried, and cried, and cried, for the physical pain that Jesus suffered (to say nothing of the emotional agony of being separated from the Father…). 
    v. 15, “He will sprinkle many nations [with His blood, providing salvation]”
    One of last year’s Lenten services sermon was about the blood of Christ being on me; when Pilate washed his hands and told the people that Jesus’ blood would be upon them, their comprehension was that they were to blame for Jesus being put to death, yet His (Jesus’) blood is what sets us free from the power of sin and death.  Yes…may His (Jesus’) blood be upon me.
     
    I’ll have to finish this later…lunch time has come to an end.

    1. v.2, “He grew up before him like a young plant … He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him and no beauty”
      Jesus, although Lord of lords, King of kings, came to live among us like a regular guy…no pomp or circumstance, but humbly, taking on humanness to live among His creation.
       
      v. 3, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”
      Jesus knows grief…He knows the heart break of loss, the pain of suffering.
       
      v. 4-5, “He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows … He was pierced for our transgressions … crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace … with His wounds we are healed.”
      Jesus took all our sins unto Himself and bore the punishment that we would know freedom from sin and death… AMAZING GRACE!

      1. “Man of Sorrows” — Hillsong:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlOJ5o8W4Lw

  21. 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)
    I understand that physical suffering can be hard to look at, but I can’t help but thinking about how drawn I am to Believers who are in the midst of suffering, or who have weathered such trials. I feel like a magnet, really—you mention Chris, Mary E.—both of them I am so drawn to, really because of their suffering and what it has made them—real, authentic , faithful women. I’ve loved Dee’s teaching as long as I’ve known it, but when I first read God of All Comfort, from that moment I wanted to just sit at her feet and glean all I could. There is something so attractive to me in a faithful follower who has been through the fires. They have fellow-shipped with Him in suffering and the refining of the fire reflects Him
     

  22. 1.  What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    Being on holy ground, taking your shoes off.
    2.  Has the fact that we have a suffering Savior helped you with your own pain? 
    That I have a Savior who empathizes with pain and was forsaken by the Father so I do not have to be forsaken.
        if you can share an illustration of why it has, do.
    Being in chronic pain for a while now makes me reflective of the greater pain that my Savior experienced for my sake. I was down on my face for my epidural procedure and even after the numbing effect of anesthesia, I still felt the pressure of the catheter advancing inside. Oh, my! It was a very uncomfortable feeling. But O Lord ,you had spikes and later a spear into your side. Weep, my soul and be in contrition for the One who loves you was willing not only to be in great pain but to die for you.
    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.
     
    The fact that he was disfigured to the point of not being recognizable-that pains me so. I couldn’t watch some scenes of the film, “Jesus”. And whenever I caught myself in sin and/or tempted, I remember His face and would often cry out in sorrow for the wretched person I am.

    1. Bing–so sorry about your pain. Chronic pain is a very lonely trial. I am so thankful to hear you still clinging to Him, speaking truth to your soul in the midst.

  23. 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.
     
    “The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor’s palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. They stripped him and dressed him in a red toga. They plaited a crown from branches of a thornbush and set it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand for a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mocking reverence: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” they said. “Bravo!” Then they spit on him and hit him on the head with the stick. When they had had their fun, they took off the toga and put his own clothes back on him. Then they proceeded out to the crucifixion.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭27:27-31‬ ‭MSG‬‬
    http://bible.com/97/mat.27.27-31.msg
     
    So sad and hard to read.

  24. 3. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:5 and share anything that quickens you and why.
    What struck me is how He gave up dignity-he was despised by men;  beauty-He wasn’t attractive, He had no stately form or majesty, yet He is King of Kings. AND ultimately was stricken by God-God turned His face from Him. All of this so that He could heal us bringing us into the Trinity and never forsaken by God. So that we could become His beautiful bride adorned in His Holiness-His beauty.  
     
    This is beautiful..Right now I feel two things- woe is me, for I am a woman of unclean lips! I am standing on Holy Ground…and at the same time JOY that He felt the sting of my unclean lips on the cross so that He could remove Baal from them in the future and yet while I am here with Him melt me to repentance so that He can make me like Him. 

  25. 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! 🙂 )
    I have not had a chance to read the article yet, but 53:8 points to One person, not a nation:  “By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?”
    Also Acts 8:26–35 when Phillip explains Isaiah to the Eunuch
     
    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?
    It was God’s will that Jesus be crushed, and Jesus submitted out of love for the Father, and all for us–for our transgressions, our iniquities, so that we would be healed. Amazing Love.
     

  26. OK, sorry this is long (actually going to try to edit now!), but I think it’s worth a read, it really helped me meditate on the weight of the Cross–it is from Piper’s “Seeing and Savoring Christ” (free download on DG): 
    If we had been forced to watch, we probably would have passed out. In the garden, “His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). In the middle of the night, before the high priest, “they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him” (Matthew 26:67). Before the governor they “scourged” him (Matthew 27:26). Eusebius (about A.D. 300) described Roman scourging of Christians like this: “At one time they were torn by scourges down to deep-seated veins and arteries, so that the hidden contents of the recesses of their bodies, their entrails and organs, were exposed to sight.”

    In his agony the soldiers toyed with him. They dressed him in mock robes of royalty. They began to “cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, ‘Prophesy!’ And the guards received him with blows” (Mark 14:65). A crown of thorns was pressed down on his head—made worse by being driven into his skull with blows. “They were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him” (Mark 15:19). In this condition he was unable to carry his own cross (Matthew 27:32). The torture and shame continued. He was stripped. His hands and feet were nailed to the cross (Acts 2:23; Psalm 22:16). The mockery was unrelenting through the terrible morning. “Hail, King of the Jews!” “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matthew 27:29, 40). Even one of the criminals “railed at him” (Luke 23:39).
    It was a hideous death. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia tells us, “The wounds swelled about the rough nails, and the torn and lacerated tendons and nerves caused excruciating agony. The arteries of the head and stomach were surcharged with blood and a terrific throbbing headache ensued. . . . The victim of crucifixion literally died a thousand deaths. . . . The suffering was so frightful that ‘even among the raging passions of war pity was sometimes excited.’”

    All of this came upon the “friend of sinners,” not with brothers at his side, but utterly abandoned. Judas had betrayed him with a kiss (Luke 22:48). Peter had denied him three times (Matthew 26:75). “All the disciples left him and fled” (Matthew 26:56). And in the darkest hour of the history of the world, God the Father struck his own Son with our punishment. “We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4). The only person in the world who truly knew God (Matthew 11:27) cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

    Never before or since has there been such suffering, because, in all its dreadful severity, it was a suffering by design. It was planned by God the Father and embraced by God the Son. “It was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief” (Isaiah 53:10). Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). Herod, Pilate, the soldiers, and the Jews did to Jesus “whatever [God’s] hand and . .. plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:28). Down to the details, the sufferings of the Son were written in the Scriptures. “Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst’” (John 19:28).

    Not only was it suffering by design, but also by obedience. Jesus embraced the pain. He chose it—“obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). And his obedience was sustained by faith in his Father. “When he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46). … “But for this purpose I have come to this hour” (John 12:27). He lived in order to die. Therefore, the suffering and weakness of Jesus were a work of his sovereign power. “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:18). He freely chose to join the Father’s design for his own suffering and death. And what was that design? To be a substitute for us, so that we might live…

    1. Absolutely heart wrenching the purely physical suffering Jesus endured…and all for us, in obedience to the Father’s plan… 

    2. Powerful image of the price He paid for us.

  27. 4.  It was our sin that disfigured Him, that made Him suffer.  God made His body ordinary so we would have to look beyond His appearance.  Again, the idea of looking further.  I wonder if the original author of Beauty and the Beast was in part making a statement of how on earth we are given the choice to take Christ, unlovely as He is on the cross.  Someday every eye will see Him in all His glory, but for those who rejected Him it will be too late.
     
    5.  As seen in the NT.  He was despised and rejected by men.  Matt 12:9-14 the rulers looked for opportunities to trap Him out of hate.
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  You can’t be in the presence of great suffering day after day and not be affected by it.  It changes you. His earthly family said He was crazy, and the leaders accused Him of being from the devil Mark 3:20-22
    like one from men hide their faces, we esteemed Him not.  Luke 16:14 He was sneered at.  John 15:18 the world hates Him

  28. 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)
     
    I’m not sure why other people would hide from the suffering, but I think I would feel embarrassed that I was “participating” by watching the suffering occur. In Job, he talks about his body and how it is fairly disgusting in its smell and look. He didn’t think he would be accepted by his family members because of how he has let himself deteriorate. Maybe they would feel as I would; embarrassed that they stood by and couldn’t seem to help him even though they knew it was wrong?

  29. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
     
    The statue of Jesus covering His face. In the beauty of that wooded scene….I love nature and the woods and any season….even bare trees are beautiful and normally being outdoors is uplifting, the stillness and the silence, yet here is a picture of anguish, of no comfort being found anywhere or in anything. Nothing but silence. It’s the silence and the aloneness of suffering that is so very painful.
     
    2. Has the fact that we have a suffering Savior helped you with your own pain?
     
    At times, but I still find it hard to grab hold of as a comfort. Most often I just feel the sense of aloneness, and isolation. I find no solace or comfort in what is supposed to be the most intimate relationship in my life, only a strange sense of somehow being “out there on my own”. That feeling seems to carry over into how I relate to God. It wasn’t always so, but I’m in this place now.

    1. Susan, I have been in that place.  It made me think of the verse in the OT that says of a good king that God left him to see what was in his heart.  I take that to mean, will we stay the course without our emotions leading the way?  From experience, I encourage you to stay positioned to hear and receive from God.  Your time in the desert will end, and He will lead you out on His arm in peace and joy.

      1. Great encouragement and wise advice, thank you, Mary B…I know it was directed for Susan, but I thank you too. It was a great word for me this morning.

  30. 6.  Why do men hide their faces from one who is suffering so?  It is physical and emotionally difficult to be in the presence of great suffering.  It brings up a huge boatload of powerful feelings.  Revulsion, nausea, dizziness, fear, panic, helplessness, or facing your own fragility or mortality.  Job said that from his wife to his best friends to casual passers by, no one wanted to be close to him in his suffering. 
     
    7.  Many Jews see this as referring to Israel as a nation.  But Israel never took up the infirmities or sorrows for another country.  vs 4 if the suffering servant is Israel, who is she suffering for?  vs6 Israel as a nation had gone astray, so who is God laying the iniquity on?  8b says for the transgressions of MY people he was stricken, and in 9b Israel could not claim to be free of violence or deceit.

  31. 3. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:5 and share anything that quickens you and why.
     
    Isaiah 53:4 says, “Surely He took up OUR infirmities and carried OUR sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.” It’s the part about we considered Jesus to be stricken by God, as if God laid all of this upon Jesus just to hurt Him, to punish Him, but if you just take that part of the sentence without the first, then it seems as if Jesus’ suffering had no reason, no purpose. But we read that He TOOK UP OUR infirmities and sorrows. God didn’t lay them on Him, without Jesus’ consent; it says that Jesus took them up. He willingly made the choice to carry our sins, weaknesses, failures, sorrows. There were those who witnessed the crucifixion who only saw Jesus as some sort of religious rebel whom God punished….they screamed at Him to save Himself, or where is your God now? They didn’t understand the meaning behind the suffering.

  32. 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)
    Because to comfort someone who is suffering requires self-lessness. His Love empowers us to not be critical of them-why they are suffering, how whatever happened happened, how they grieve, how long they grieve, Suffering calls us to enter into another’s pain. experiencing it with them-as much as is possible, and walking the road with them. Everyone in job’s life turned their faces from Him.
     
    Instead of hiding His face from us-God came to us and suffered even worse than Job with many who turned their faces from Him-He suffered abandonment so that we wouldn’t ever have to. So that He could enter into our suffering-and be our comfort and never turn His face from us. 

    1. Oh, this is good, Rebecca!  I had my thoughts on this but was curios to see what others thought.  I think you are right!

  33. MONDAY-WEDNESDAY
    3. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:5 and share anything that quickens you snd why. 
    Verse 5 stands out to me. The reality that He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought is peace, and with his wounds we are healed.  My sin caused Jesus to suffer the most excruciating death but I am afforded peace and am healed by those things. The contrast is so stark in comparison.
    4. Comment on Isaiah 52:14 and Isaiah 53:2. Why was He so disfigured?  
    I really don’t know why.  It would seem like the enemy was trying to obliterate who He was somehow but I just don’t know why that was part of it all.  
    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.  
    Time and again the Pharisees rejected him and sought to discredit and ultimately to find a way to kill Him.   Judas rejected and delivered him to his killers. Pilate rejected Him in the end by giving Him over to be crucified. And at the end Peter rejected knowing Him and all the disciples fled from  Him.  
    6.Why do you think men hide their faces from one who suffers so?  How did Job suffer the same thing? (Job 19:17-19) 
    This reference from Job explains the answer to question 4 for me. It was sin that caused the disfiguring of Jesus and of Job. Sin has caused this world to be broken, fallen and horribly disfigured.  By sin death entered this world and is disfiguring it and the enemy destroys and seeks to do away with God’s beauty. Our eyes and hearts are drawn to beauty and repulsed by ugliness.  God made man in his own image with a desire to know Him.  All men seek Heaven in their hearts and desire beauty. We only find it in Jesus.  But sin and disfiguing cannot keep God down.  Even Job speaks to the resurrection when in the midst of his own disfigurement he says I know my Redeemer lives and on the last day He will stand. Hope truly springs eternal in that out of Christ being crushed we are made to have peace with God and our wounds are healed. So like Job as we suffer the hard stuff of life here in this broken fallen world if we enter into the fellowship of His suffering we also find our hope that now today our Redeemer lives!  
     
     

  34. Sandra McCracken,”I Am Ashamed” The lyrics are convicting, humbling, amazing: https://thegospelcoalition.bandcamp.com/track/i-am-ashamed
    I used to nurture bitterness, To count up every slight. The world’s a moral wilderness, And I have felt its blight.  Self-pity ruled, resentment reigned; No one understood my pain. I spiraled down in murky night, Insisting that I had the right To hate and hate again. 
    I am ashamed; O, my Lord, forgive. 
    But then the gospel taught me how To contemplate the cross. For there Christ died for me—and now I’ve glimpsed the bitter cost. He bore abuse, and blows, and hate; He did not retaliate. Triumphant malice sneered and tossed Blind rage at him—he never lost The love that conquers hate. 
    I am ashamed; O, my Lord, forgive. 
    To make no threat, to smile, forgive, To love—and not because I must, For Jesus showed me how to live And trust the One who’s just; To suffer wrong and feel the pain, Certain that the loss is gain— 
    O God, I want so much to trust, To follow Jesus on the cross, To love and love again.

    1. Lizzy, wow! This song sung by Sandra McCracken … I am Ashamed … the words so right on target, humbling. When we look at the Cross and why and how Christ suffered – taking up our sins and silently, willingly bearing them, all for the love of us. What can we do but stand in silence, repent of our petty nurturing of resentments and ask Him to teach us to love.

    2. I agree with Diane….convicting lyrics about how we nurture our petty resentments, and the part about self-pity – oh.

    3. Lizzy-Glory! But then the gospel taught me how To contemplate the cross. For there Christ died for me—and now I’ve glimpsed the bitter cost. He bore abuse, and blows, and hate; He did not retaliate. Triumphant malice sneered and tossed Blind rage at him—he never lost The love that conquers hate. 
      I am ashamed; O, my Lord, forgive. To make no threat, to smile, forgive, To love—and not because I must, For Jesus showed me how to live And trust the One who’s just; To suffer wrong and feel the pain, Certain that the loss is gain— O God, I want so much to trust, To follow Jesus on the cross, To love and love again.

  35. 3. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:5 and share anything that quickens you and why.  Well, unfortunately, one part that stands out to me for a bad reason is “by His scoring we are healed.”  Oh I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard that verse misinterpreted (in my opinion) and pushed on me, “Mary, by His stripes we are HEALED” (and by that they mean healed of every, single physical ailment you could possibly ever have in this life.)  As if all Christians are supposed to only die of “old age” (as if that is natural and not part of the curse!  I mean, yes, Adam and Eve would have gotten older if they had not sinned, but not the way that we do, our bodies declining and finally dying.)  But what quickens me is that by His stripes we ARE healed of the only disease condition that really matters- sin and it’s awful consequence of separation from God.  No matter what I must face in this life, however terribly hard, even horrifying it may be, I will NEVER face it alone.  Jesus, on the other hand, faced the MOST horrifying experience a person could ever know and He faced it alone, forsaken by God so that He could promise me that He will never leave or forsake me.  I remember years ago thinking that if I had been in the garden with Him I would have been whispering in His ear, “Please don’t do it, I’m not worth it, truly, I am not worth this….”  But all the pleading in the world could not have stopped His relentless love from driving Him to that cross.

    1. Beautiful post, Mary. “No matter what I must face in this life, however terribly hard, even horrifying it may be, I will NEVER face it alone.”

    2. Mary-Oh yes..so makes sense-all of us are going to die so it can’t mean healing physically-but this is so good: But what quickens me is that by His stripes we ARE healed of the only disease condition that really matters- sin and it’s awful consequence of separation from God

  36. 4. Comment on Isaiah 52:14 and Isaiah 53:2. Why was he so disfigured?  I’m assuming due to the beating and the crown of thorns.  Tremendous swelling and bleeding under the skin can definitely make someone look unrecognizable.  

  37. 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.  Well, the religious leaders totally rejected Him, even accused Him of having a demon and constantly criticized nearly everything He did (because He broke their rules.)  Most of His own people also rejected Him.  

  38. 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)  I’m curious how others have answered this (so will go back and read some) but I think it’s because they are scared.  If this can happen to this person…it could happen to me. They don’t want to see how bad it could be, for deep down they know that they also are just a vapor  and that their own lives could change for the worse in a heartbeat and they could “lose it all” because this life is ultimately both fragile and fleeting for everyone.

  39. 7. Many Jews feel that this is talking about Israel as a nation. What is incongruent about that interpretation? 
     
    The scripture seems to refer to a certain person; someone who was born of purpose; one who was special, who was physically harmed beyond recognition. It says he was despised and rejected by all. He carried our burden and we are healed by his wounds. I’m not sure why anyone would think this was Israel, a nation, and not a specific man? When did the Israelites have half a brain to actually do these things? They just wandered and disobeyed God all the time, right?

  40. 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?
     
    God willed these things to happen. Jesus complied to save us from sin. Thank You Lord Jesus, my King.
     
    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?
     
    It’s funny you mention gazing in the cross, as I often sit in my seat at church and look at the beautiful huge (floor to ceiling of, probably, a 50 foot wall!) wooden cross that hangs on our wall behind the pulpit. It usually has a purple sash on it this time of year and reminds me of the One who loved me dearly and sacrificed himself just for me. It is sweet. Gazing on the cross…my friend and I are working on a piece for Easter Sunday that the choir director asked us to dance to with the choir. It is not really my style or favorite type of music, but we have had a good time rehearsing and trying to choreograph appropriate movement to go along with the music. My friend suggested that we clap and get the congregation to clap with us, as the music is joyful and upbeat at one point. I liked the idea so we are inserting it. Since the piece focused on Easter Sunday I have not been thinking about Good Friday as much. Maybe we could pray before we rehearse the next week to put us in the right frame of mind to truly be joyful that our Lord loved us SO MUCH that He died for us. Sometimes you can go through the motions without really feeling the reason for the dance; we need to step back and remember why we are celebrating Easter. Thanks for reminding me of this point Dee. I never thought of being a “mentor” to this young woman, but I suppose I am.
     

  41. 4. Comment on Isaiah 52:14 and Isaiah 53:2. Why was He so disfigured?
     
    Isaiah 53:2 says that this suffering servant was an ordinary looking man; there wasn’t anything kingly or majestic about his appearance. I take it to mean that He wasn’t movie-star handsome. Yet, there were many who were drawn to Jesus like a magnet. Perhaps if He had taken the form of a glorious king, people would have found Him unapproachable. I believe that He was disfigured because of the horrific abuse He endured – beaten, whipped, bloodied, bruised. Mary noted above about the swelling that occurs with being beaten and how it would distort His appearance.
     
    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.
     
    After Jesus healed the man who had a legion of demons in him (the one who lived by the tombs, who screamed and cut himself) and sent the demons into the pigs who then drowned, the people of that town begged Jesus to LEAVE. When Jesus healed the man with the shriveled hand on the Sabbath, the religious leaders’ hatred of Him was brewing. When Jesus explained that He was the bread that came down from heaven, and used the metaphor of his flesh being real food, and his blood being real drink, many of His disciples turned away and no longer followed Him. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, instead of being awestruck, the religious leaders began to plot in earnest to kill Him.

  42. 4. Why was He so disfigured (v.52:14, 53:3)?
    Physically Jesus endured tremendous torture… the flogging ripped Him to shreds. Spiritually He took upon Himself all the sin of this world… past, present, and future. Sin is so very ugly…the purity Jesus always had was “disfigured” by sin.

  43. 5. How do you see the truth of 53:3 borne out in the life and death of Jesus?
    People didn’t understand Jesus, He wasn’t who/what the Jewish people expected as their Messiah. His message was not what they expected or desired to hear…they wanted retaliation of the Roman empire, a conqueror, someone to free them from their domination. They didn’t recognize the much larger domination they were under, i.e., sin.  Jesus did not come as “royalty,” but as the son of Mary and Joseph; He talked of love and the need for repentance, and forgiveness… not what the people wanted to hear, they wanted action.  

    1. The disciples feared for self during Jesus’ arrest, torture, and crucifixion… they lost sight of who Jesus was (is) and were gripped by fear and disappointment. They turned away from Jesus at this time.

  44. Pondering the cross:
     
    https://youtu.be/wjLlLPZderk
     

  45. So my oldest who is wandering now asks good questions..he can’t get over this question, “If God is real and all powerful and in control then why didn’t he just stop Adam and Eve from sinning? Why can’t he just stop bad things now?” My response was because that isn’t who God is. Yes He could do that, but He chose not to. I think it is because He is a lover-He wants response to him, not robotic duty. He wants intimacy.  So he took the Fall, and turned it around so that we can see His beauty-His passion for us. He became a man and dying on the cross and then rising again. It is a mystery as to why He did it that way-but don’t you see? Would you rather have a God who dictates and makes us pay the price for the Fall to turn it around or a God who is passionate for you? Who paid the price of sin to turn around the Fall for you? A God who rescued you from the Fall by suffering to “fix it”. 🙂 My conclusion is that He wants us to taste Him through trials, dark valleys and brokenness-to taste His goodness-to experience Him in the Fall. And..We get to wait in exciting expectation for His big climax in the end when He comes for us-His bride and brings us to God pure-undefiled and restores heaven and earth. I can’t imagine..but yes He will stop bad things from happening and everything will be restored in the future but He had done it His way and while it doesn’t make sense to us-it is beautiful. 

    1. Rebecca! This is an excellent explanation! I wish I could articulate this to others as you have here. I get tongue tied and trip over my words. I have begun reading “Christianity Explained,” but have t gotten too far in yet. I’m so glad your son is at least asking questions. That is a good sign for sure!

  46. Thoughts on Bock:
     
    I read all the passages cited within the article, and boy oh boy I am even more convinced that Jesus was sent for me, to die for my sins. When you read them all together like that, it is clear. However, I can see why Jews would think that Isaiah speaks of the nation Israel because of Isaiah 49:3 too:
     
    “And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.””
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭49:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/isa.49.3.esv
     
    But, there are so many other verses (New and Old Testament alike) cited, that overwhelm the idea of Christ, it’s hard to ignore them. It just seals the deal for me. I am His, He is mine, and I am the fortunate one who receives the love of Christ overall. Amazing grace, how can it be? Thank You Lord Jesus….for saving me.

  47. 10. What were some of the main points Bock made? (You may need to read it several times.)
    1. He opened my eyes about Psalm 118 in light of Isaiah 53 in how Jesus fulfilled God’s plan.
     
    2. This can’t be Israel or the remnant because He is said to be cut off from his people, so how can Israel be cut off from themselves? Also He is a righteous sufferer and Israel was a nation in sin. 
     
    3. Jesus died an unjust death as Isaiah 53 predicted. This fits with the passion narrative portrayed in Luke 23. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent yet he put Jesus to death. The injustice is also prevalent in Acts.
     
    4. The entirety of Isaiah 53 summarizes Jesus death and the reaction that caused it, not just a few passages.
     
    5. We fail to see how it moves from a picture of Israel to a picture of an individual and that movement is important.  Failure to see this movement from nation to individual blocks a good conversation about who the servant is. 

  48. 3. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:5 and share anything that quickens you and why.
     
    What quickens me is in verse 2: “[he had] no beauty that we should desire him.” He who is all Beauty, the ultimate source of beauty; at whose feet the angels cry, “Holy, holy, holy” set aside his glory to become a man of sorrows, so ugly that we turn our faces in fear, disgust and revulsion. 
     
    I put this verse beside John 1: 14 which says “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The disciple, John, had glimpses of God’s glory in Jesus, (in the Transfiguration, for example) but even before his trial and crucifixion, Jesus was not recognizable as Who He truly was. We still, truly, see through a “glass darkly”. We only see Jesus’ beauty, glory when he reveals it to us. Thank you, Jesus, for revealing a little bit of your glory to me. 
     
    I have been praying for a church friend’s granddaughter, at 18, who is battling with anorexia. She has stopped eating and seems to still feel she is fat at 94 lbs. Oh my. She has no relationship with Jesus (though she went to Sunday School as a young child) and her father abandoned them when she was young. My heart cries out, “Lord, show yourself to her somehow. Draw her to you! Let her see your beauty, your love.” This is so sad!

    1. oh Diane–praying with your for this dear 18 yr old. May He break through the lies of the enemy and bring her to Himself and bring healing. 

    2. It is a sad disease for sure. Praying for your young friend.