THE HOLIEST WEEK 2017

WE WILL WALK TOGETHER THIS HOLY WEEK,

CONTEMPLATING THE LAMB WHO WAS SLAIN FOR US.

EACH DAY WE WILL MEDITATE TOGETHER,

DRAWING FROM THE CENTERPIECE OF THE GREAT SCROLL OF ISAIAH:

ISAIAH 53.

NO DOUBT YOU HAVE HEARD OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS,

AND OF HOW THESE ANCIENT TEXTS WERE DISCOVERED BEGINNING IN THE 1940’S IN THE CAVES OF QUMRAN.

AMAZINGLY, THE ANCIENT SCROLL OF ISAIAH WAS NEARLY INTACT AND WAS ONE THOUSAND YEARS OLDER THAN ANYTHING THEY HAD AT THAT POINT. 

A COPY OF THE SCROLL CAN BE SEEN IN THIS MUSEUM IN THE HOLY LAND AND THE ORIGINAL IS KEPT SEALED IN A ROOM BELOW THE MUSEUM.

I AM EAGER FOR YOU TO WATCH AN EXCELLENT DOCUMENTARY ON THIS AMAZING ARCHEOLOGICAL DISCOVERY AND ON ISAIAH 53

THAT WILL STIR YOUR SOUL

AND STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH

IN THE RELIABILITY OF THE SCRIPTURES.

EACH DAY WE WILL SEE MORE.

EACH DAY WE WILL MOVE TO HIGHER AND HOLIER GROUND.

PALM SUNDAY:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. How will you plan to abide so that you can experience His presence this week? The homework is a bit longer, especially Good Friday, so what will you do to find the time?

3. There is so much beautiful music for holy week. If you have a favorite, share.

MONDAY-TUESDAY: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Mystery of Isaiah 53

Watch this documentary — if you want to divide it into the two days, I suggest you go up to the advertisement for the book on Isaiah 53 and then continue after the ad on Tuesday.

4. Share your notes and comments on the above documentary.

WEDNESDAY: Isaiah 53:4-7

5. Read Isaiah 53:4-7

    A. For what purpose did Christ endure the beatings, the humiliation, the horrific

         pain, and the abandonment of God the Father?

I want to share comments from the last week from two of our wisest: Mary E and Diane — who know what it is to suffer.

Diane:

He suffered in every way like us (like any who have been badly bruised and mistreated). He knows our pain. Jesus knows every sorrow ever borne. I need to sit in that. Even the revulsion of the chemical attack in Syria this week!  It humbles me and also comforts me. 

Mary E:

 I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard that verse [Isaiah 53:5] 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.

B. What thoughts do you have on Diane and Mary’s comments?

C. To what are we compared in Isaiah 53:6? What do you know about sheep that could give you insight into our sin nature?

Did you know that sheep don’t want to be found?

That is why the shepherd must put him on his shoulders

and clasp his legs.

D. How is the coming Messiah described in Isaiah 53:7? How was the fulfilled by Jesus?

MAUNDY THURSDAY: Isaiah 53:8-10

If you purchased Tim Keller’s Series, Songs of the Servant, this would be the day to listen to Pierced for our Iniquities. It is wonderful, but it is also accidentally truncated at 23 minutes, so I’m not asking the rest of you to buy it. But if you did get it, listen and share your thoughts with us.

6. What thoughts and comments do you have on Pierced for our Iniquities?

7. Isaiah said the Messiah would “make his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death.” How was that fulfilled?

 

8. How does Isaiah show us that the suffering of the Messiah was not a cruel accident according to verse 10? Why did the God the Father will this, and why did God the Son comply?

 

 

 

GOOD FRIDAY: Isaiah 53:11-12

PREPARE YOUR HEART WITH THIS:

9. Meditate on verse 11. What do you think the first part of the verse means?

Read this from scholar Peter Flint:

 

The Great Isaiah Scroll and the Original Bible – An Interview with Dr Peter Flint

10. Share your comments and notes.

11. What additional word did the Isaiah scroll have for verse 11? Comments?

 

I found it interesting that the resurrection was part of his satisfaction — the light after the darkness. But I also believe, according to the rest of verse 11, that His satisfaction was also due to the fact that He rescued us, that He now has a bride who is perfectly pure.

12. Write a prayer of praise for the suffering servant who did this for you and was satisfied by the fruit of His anguish.

Holy Saturday

13. What is your take-a-way this holy week and why?

 

 

COMMENTS (109) Post a New Comment ↓
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6. What thoughts and comments do you have on Pierced for our Iniquities?  I didn’t get the series, so not sure if this question ties in with that or just with Isaiah 53 but I think it means that the punishment we deserved for sin was administered to Him.  He was literally, physically “pierced” as well as spiritually when God the Father forsook Him in that moment.  

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10. Share your comments and notes.
 
I kind of feel like I missed the punchline of the joke with this article, but here is what I gleaned (albeit more questions have arisen since I read the article)…
 
Finding these scrolls means we have the most accurate documentation of the actual text of the bible, and some bibles are actually changing their editions to reflect the Dead Sea scroll text. Questions: How do we definitively know these are the “correct” textual works of Isaiah, and why would these supercede the biblical text we had?
 
Flint gives an example of Isaiah 53:11, where the author inserts the word “light” to suggest hope, or resurrection, which to me, means Jesus. Light = Jesus in the Bible, right?
 
I always thought that found with the Dead Sea scrolls was some sort of article of clothing (Turin?) that Jesus wore at the end that showed His bloodied impression intact? Has anyone heard of that? I then heard it was not authentic after scientists did some sort of electromagnetic wave (x-rays or such) testing on it.
 
I guess I am missing the implication of the scrolls with just this one example. Are there others that people can share?
 
 

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    Laura — yes that shroud of Turin made a big splash but I too heard it was inauthentic. Don’t know when it was found.

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      Supposedly the Shroud of Turin was first exhibited in France in 1357.   That is quite a bit earlier than the Dead Sea Scrolls were found (1946).   So  it would appear that they were not found together.

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5d. How is the coming Messiah described in Isa. 53:7? He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet never said a word. He was silent before the High Priests and silent before Pilate, Matt. 26:63. He only replied, You have said it. Matt. 26:64
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. He never resisted the abuse and mocking, but endured all the cruel treatment.
6. Pierced for our iniquities; I did not get the series. Yes,I think of the pain of the nail piercings in his body, This is the ultimate of the cruelty he had to endure.
7. Isaiah said the Messiah would make his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death. The two thieves were crucified with him, one on each side, and one believed and was taken to Paradise with Jesus. It seems symbolic that one man believes and was saved and one mocked and went to hell. This is the choice each person makes.
When Jesus died, Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy man, asked for his body of Pilate, so that he could be placed in his own tomb.
8. How does Isaiah show us that the suffering of the Messiah was not a cruel accident?
It was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. The Son was totally obedient to his Father’s will, in spite of the suffering he would endure. The motive was love, his amazing love for us.
This leads me to my prayer of praise
Most beloved Father,
You have loved us with an everlasting love. You knew our hearts , so deceitful and so selfish. Yet you wanted us to come to you.Our sins required payment for you are a holy Father. Our sins kept us from sweet fellowship with you. You planned this event which caused suffering and pain beyond belief.
Father, I just want to give thanks and praise that you were willing to allow this for me and my brothers and sisters who love you and can sing praise to you. Hallelujah, What a Savior! I just want to praise you and thank you forever and ever and sing the Hallelujah Chorus. To God be the glory forever. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen

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The Great Isaiah Scroll and the Original Bible – An Interview with Dr Peter Flint
10. Share your comments and notes.
Appreciate all the year of hard work that Dr. Flint has put into the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the Isaiah scroll. Oh, that I would be so passionate about the Word of God like the Bereans of NT!
11. What additional word did the Isaiah scroll have for verse 11? Comments?
 
The word” light”!!!! One word that makes a whole lot of difference. Just like one preacher said, Friday is here but Sunday is a-coming! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

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    I thought that was so interesting too about the word light.

     

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Here it is. Good Friday. Storming in Nebraska where I am. Thinking and praying for each of you this holiest of days.

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9. Meditate on verse 11. What do you think the first part of the verse means?
Out of His terrible suffering salvation was accomplished. I think of that point on the Cross where He said “It is finished!” God was truly satisfied with Jesus perfect sacrifice of Himself on the  Cross.
 10. Share your comments and notes. 
What a wonderful enlightening revelation of the discovery of a more clarifying translation of Isaiah 53:11 by an authority and learned scholar  
11. What additional word did the Isaiah scroll have for verse 11? Comments?
Light! Easter!! On Sunday Morning at dawn (first light) the women went to the tomb and found death was not there holding the body of Jesus but rather an angel of light in dazzling white robes greeted them in the tomb. There was light and Jesus had risen! 
12. Write a prayer of praise for the suffering servant who did this for you and was satisfied by the fruit of His anguish.
Precious Saviour, I am amazed at what you have done and continue to do. As I read your Holy Word and see the deep and incredible truths surrounding your sacrificial life, death and resurrection as told in Isaiah I am again in awe and so deeply encouraged by it all.  From eternity past it was your plan to redeem my soul from Hell and separation from yourself.  I don’t begin to understand why you would choose me. I bring nothing, absolutely nothing, to make me worthy of such a gift. You alone are worthy.  Thankyou for being the Holy One Who made the sacrifice for my sin. Thankyou for accomplishing that incredible feat of suffering to the end. For me. And for all who recognize their need of a Saviour and will call upon your precious Name To be saved. I pray even this weekend many will hear and understand. Please call more to Yourself. All to the honor and glory of our great God and Father.  Amen

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Dee……I have not been able to stay in touch here.  But I have taken a little time to scroll through today.  
I want to tell you again, how meaningful these Lenten studies are.  I think it was 4 years ago, at Lent that I started here on the blog and I so attribute some answers to prayer as beginning with a renewed perspective and applying what I was learning here.  
 
Last night, when I went through the Stations of the Cross at church, one station asked us to think of people who have led us to the Cross and to thank God for them.  I thought of my parents and some pastors and teachers.  And today when I was driving back to church to help with the stations, I thought of YOU, Dee.  You have been so very faithful in your serious look at the Word and in bringing us such good teaching on the Passion of Jesus.  The Lenten study filled my empty heart so completely when I was feeling spiritually dis-engaged at my previous church.  And SO much has happened in my spiritual life since then.  A lot of it began here.  
ALSO:  One GREAT answer to prayer, for those who don’t see the facebook page:
As of Tuesday, we have two officially adopted 11 year old twin grandsons!  The boys have lived with our son and daughter in law for 3 and 1/2 years and all of that while, they had hoped that they could legally adopt them.  Now it is real!  My son wrote and told us about the boys’ responses to the adoption being complete.   One of them especially has been …..”so joyful knowing that they were forever chosen’…..were his words.   I tear up at that expression.  
And then I also realize that it is the very same for all of us.  Jesus redeemed us so we could be forever chosen as God’s forever children. 
Easter blessings to all of you dear friends!

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    Thank you, dear Wanda!

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This week I am taking away a deeper appreciation of God’s written Word and how He miraculously preserved a key part in the book of Isaiah among the Sead Sea Scrolls.  It is an important part of the prophecies which speak clearly of the living Word Jesus the Messiah  
More importantly in considering Isaiah 53 and taking time to meditate on the suffering of my Savior has deepened my love for Him in how He loved me and stayed the course through the horrific suffering until it was finished and accomplished salvation from sin and death for us. But tomorrow is Easter and out of that came the resurrection.  Light! “Bursting forth in glorious day!”  He is risen!! And He lives!! 
Last night at the Good Friday service we sang the old hymn 
“Man of sorrows what a namefor the Son of God, who cameruined sinners to reclaim:Hallelujah, what a Savior!”
Yes Hallelujah, what a Savior!
 

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12. Write a prayer of praise for the suffering servant who did this for you and was satisfied by the fruit of His anguish.
Jesus, you bore my sins on your body. Thank you.
You got what I deserve. Thank you.
You were satisfied with the fruit of your anguish. Thank you for including me.
You came to serve and to save. Even while I was yet a sinner. Thank you.
 
You are making me more like you. Thank you.

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The Isaiah scrolls are: “Faith affirming, life giving & historically accurate”, quoted by Dr Flint. That just about sume it up! It’s been good to meditate on Is 53 this week. 12. Write a prayer of praise: Thank You Jesus for being our Servant King; for washing our feet & not asking for anything in return, except our devotion. Help me to understand more & more the mystery & wonder of such Love- You are LOVE. Help me to allow You to love me, my tender great Shepherd. Thank You that You are taking care of me & that You cherish me, your beloved sheep.    Happy Easter dear sisters!  :)

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What is your take-a-way this holy week and why?
I will never be able to fully comprehend Jesus’ sacrifice for me, but after listening to Tim Keller’s, Pierced for Our Iniquities, I have a deeper understanding of what Jesus did for me, but more importantly, I have a deeper appreciation for what substitutionary sacrifice really means. Jesus loved me so much that He willingly took on my sins to make me pure. That is a love unlike any I have ever witnessed before, and more than I can possibly give. Because of Jesus’ great love for me, I want to live out of and live on the principle of substitutionary sacrifice. While I could never do for others what Jesus did for me, I want to begin to try to give up myself for others more. Happy Easter!

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