By Patrick Hawthorne
He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him. (Isaiah 53:3 Amplified)
As I read the above verse, I was struck in my spirit with deep sadness. Yes, mankind has despised, rejected, and forsaken our Lord Jesus; that is to be expected due to man’s fallen nature. But, that was not what caused me to pause. Sadness washed over me as I meditated on the latter portion which read, “…and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.”
Isaiah was writing to the Jewish people alone…or was he? It was with sadness that I realized that I was guilty of not giving my Lord the respect and the appreciation that is due Him. I could write this post in a manner that would point my finger at the entire Church – the Body of Christ- but that would only serve as an attempt to minimize my own guilt; to focus attention away from my own shame by projecting it upon you, the reader.
Please do not misunderstand my intent. I am not wallowing in self condemnation or pity. For that matter, I thank the Holy Spirit for loving me so much to give me a nudge of a wake-up conviction; He is allowing me to judge myself and to make the proper course correction. You see, as we progress in our walk with the Lord, our tendency is to become complacent, to take for granted the awe-inspiring price that was paid for each of us.
Think about this next portion. Please don’t skim over it with a casual indifference. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement needful to obtain peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes that wounded Him we are healed and made whole.” (Isaiah 53:5).
Jesus, our Lord and Savior, did that for us. He took the wrath of God meant for us. At the cost of a whip that laid open His back, Jesus suffered so that we could lay claim to promises such as Psalm’s 91:10, “There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.”
If you identify with this article, that is a good thing. It means the Holy Spirit is speaking to you as He did to me. Take this opportunity to think about the goodness of our Lord Jesus and to remember why you fell in love with Him in the first place. Bring back to your remembrance the old you before meeting Jesus and the new you after meeting Jesus. Be blessed.