Tuesday in Holy Week
Isaiah 49:1-7 (NRSV)
Listen to me, O coastlands,
pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
while I was in my mother's womb he named me.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, "You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
But I said, "I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
and my reward with my God."
And now the Lord says,
who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength --
"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
the slave of rulers,
"Kings shall see and stand up,
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."
Today we hear another prophesy about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
In it, Isaiah declares that God will raise up a special servant whose calling is to "be a light unto the nations that God's salvation would reach the ends of the earth."
Indeed, Jesus is a light unto the nations and salvation has been extended to every human being upon the Earth.
During this Holy Week, we come to a greater realization of just how much that plan--and that desire--cost God. As Jesus is betrayed, beaten, abused, spat upon, marched up Golgotha's Hill, nailed to an old rugged cross, bleeds, suffers, and dies--we can only imagine the cry of God's heart as his only begotten son is treated so miserably by humanity.
As Jesus was lifted up high upon the tree, it was the Endless Love and Amazing Grace of God that did not rush in to rescue him; but, rather, allowed him to die in order to make atonement for our sin and to open up the door to our eternal lives.
Today, it is my prayer that we do not attempt to bypass this horrendous truth in order to get to the joy and beauty of Easter.
Easter was bought at a great price! WE were bought at a great price! Our salvation was bought at a great price!
The next time you look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you aren't worth anything, I want you to envision Jesus up on the cross. God deems that you are worth blood, sweat, and tears innumerable and God believes that you are worth dying for!
No one else has ever done anything so extravagant for you, I am quite sure! You are priceless, as are all of God's children. And that is why Jesus was willing to do what he did in order to ensure that God's light and salvation reached to the ends of the Earth!
Let us pray:
All Wise and Ever-Loving God, thank you! Thank you for Jesus who is my light and my salvation! Thank you for his death and resurrection. Thank you for new life in Him. Please forgive me of my sin and fill me with the Holy Spirit, so that I can share this good news with others! I pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @ http://bit.ly/JVhaL