WHO HAS BELIEVED?
GOD’S WORD FOR APRIL 13~ ~ Isaiah 53:1-6~ ~ “Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground;
He has no stately form or majesty that we would look at Him,
Nor an appearance that we would take pleasure in Him. He was despised and abandoned by men,
A man of great pain and familiar with sickness; and like one from whom people hide their faces,
He was despised, and we had no regard for Him. However, it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore,
And our pains that He carried; Yet we ourselves assumed that He had been afflicted,
Struck down by God, and humiliated. But He was pierced for our offenses,
He was crushed for our wrongdoings; the punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him,
And by His wounds we are healed. All of us, like sheep, have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the wrongdoing of us all
To fall on Him.”
Isaiah asks, “who has believed our report” Indeed, who has believed? In those days, or all through the thousands of years?
Jesus Himself said the road is narrow that leads to life, and few find it. (Matthew 7:13 & 14)
Some people say, “if Jesus was here, if we could see and hear Him, it would be easier to believe.”
But would it? Isaiah wouldn’t say so. He said He grew up like an ordinary poor boy—rejected because He was conceived before Mary and Joseph were married. I dare say, very few, if any, would have believed the story if Mary did tell them. I’m sure He wasn’t the first one picked for the street games played by the young boys of Nazereth. He didn’t look or act special, and He was “that boy that everyone calls a ……” He was humble and meek, which means “power under control”. He knew His real Father, but no one would believe it, and there was no profit in telling anyone. They would know in His Father’s timing. We’re told in Luke 2:52 that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
But, still, I’m sure many agreed with Nathaniel when he said, “Can any good thing come from Nazareth” (John 1:46) It was a tiny, rural village of rather poor people.
It wasn’t until He started healing people, and feeding them, that they gave Him a second look. They would even have made Him king, if their leaders hadn’t shaken hands with the power of Rome. But many weren’t sincerely following Him, like many today. Jesus said it Himself in John 6:26 “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, You seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled.”
Again, He said in Matthew 7:21 – “Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven…”
After Rome had done its work, He was not only a “non person” in their eyes, He was worse. He was beaten, crushed, scourged, punctured, thrown down,l mocked, laughed at, stripped, spat upon. In fact, He didn’t even look human. He was a mass of pain and blood. But that He could take, even though it would have killed any of us early on. He took it because He had to finish it. He was still healing people, He was still feeding people. He was still caring and loving with all His heart—-even the people who were spitting, beating, scourging, and piercing—which was us—-It was our sins that spat on Him and our sinful fists that beat on Him.
Through His bloodied ears, He could hear His Chosen people—the people He led out of Egypt, the people He led through battles, the people through whom He engineered their descendants to keep the Messianic Line pure and legal for the Great Redemptive Plan to work in their lives. This is the chosen race whom He guided, guarded, chastened, forgave, healed, and loved —–He could hear them, through His pain and sorrow—- Yes, some of them were the ones He gave voice to when they were mute—some were watching Him with new eyesight and clean, non-diseased skin,. Some had their loved ones with them, pulled from death. But there they were, He could hear them saying, “Crucify Him!!! Crucify Him!” Still, He never thought of Himself. He didn’t feel vengeful because of the rejection that He didn’t deserve. HE THOUGHT OF THEM! He thought only of that “Joy that was set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2) when those who truly know Him will all be with Him for eternity!
Worst of all, (and the only thing that He begged not to have to happen, but submitted to the will of the Father’s Justice) is the Father turning His face away from His beloved Son,….not from Him personally, but from our sin, which He had become. It was that sin that the Father had to punish, and He took it all on —all sin from the beginning to the end of time!!! BUT, even that He endured for us———FOR US.
How can we not submit our entire lives to Him in Love and gratitude?
His death does not automatically allow everyone in heaven, as some churches teach. The move must be made by us—to know that no matter how large or small our sins are—they caused the Perfect God of the Universe severe pain. Like Isaiah, we ask, “Who has believed our message?”
The message that we cannot save ourselves. There is only one way, and that is total reliance of Jesus Christ!!!!