WE WILL WALK TOGETHER THIS HOLY WEEK,
CONTEMPLATING THE LAMB WHO WAS SLAIN FOR US.
DRAWING FROM THE CENTERPIECE OF THE GREAT SCROLL OF ISAIAH:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
13. What is your take-a-way this holy week and why?