The Journey to The Cross: March 15: The Suffering Servant and the Coming King
Don’t you wish you could tell the future? Know exactly what is going to happen? While God didn’t give the biblical prophets the whole picture, He allowed them glimpses into what was coming. There are hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament, the portion of the Bible spoken by God and recorded by men before Jesus came. Some were for current events; others looked far into the future. Often they did not make a whole lot of sense to the hearers until after they came true.
The Old Testament prophets had two themes in particular that brought hope to the Jewish nation that had been scattered: 1) God would make them a nation again and 2) that He would give them a perfect King to rule them.
Unfortunately, the nation focused so much on those incredibly hopeful themes that many of them completely missed the fact that the Heroic King would first have to come as a Suffering Servant. Jesus came the first time to become The Way to peace with God; when He comes again the second time, He will come to assert His rightful place as the King of All Things.
Isaiah was given one of the most complete visions of the first coming of the King, the Suffering Servant. Reading and “chewing on” Isaiah 52 and 53 is a terrific way to prepare your heart for Easter. In these passages, Isaiah accurately foretells what will happen to Jesus hundreds of years later. He uses words like, “he was so disfigured he seemed hardly human” and “he was despised and rejected”, “oppressed and treated harshly”. Long before Jesus took His first steps towards the cross, God told us exactly what would happen. What the punishment for our sin would entail. How Jesus would die. And that He would willingly suffer so that He could be the King of our Hearts.
Adoration: Spend some time in Isaiah 52 and 53, particularly 53:4-6. Personalize it with your name so that, instead of “we” or “our”, you read, “Yet it was (your name)’s weaknesses he carried; it was (your name)’s sorrows that weighed him down…” Praise God for His willingness to send Jesus as a substitute on your behalf.
Confession: Ask God to show you if there are any weaknesses, sorrows or sins that you need to confess. Thank Him that Jesus took all of those on Himself on the cross so that you do not have to be trapped by them.
Thanksgiving: Thank God for fulfilled prophecy, one of the many proofs that the Bible is truly the Word of God. And thank Him for preserving His Word for millennia so that we can know Him personally.
Supplication: Lift up those in your life who do not see their need for a Savior. Ask God to open their hearts this Easter season to their need for Him.