The suffering Servant

Isaiah 52.12

“See, my Servant will act wisely;
    He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at Him—
    His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
    and His form marred beyond human likeness—
 so He will sprinkle many nations,
    and kings will shut their mouths because of Him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
    and what they have not heard, they will understand. Isaiah 52:13-15

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A man of suffering…

Isaiah 53.b

Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him,
    nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by Him, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions,
    He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,
    and by His wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet He did not open his mouth;
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so He did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away.
    Yet who of His generation protested?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people He was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in His death,
though He had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes His life an offering for sin,
He will see His offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 After He has suffered,
    He will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great,
    and He will divide the spoils with the strong,
because He poured out His life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For He bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53.d

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Two robbers…

Two thieves with Jesus

Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great,
    and He will divide the spoils with the strong,
because He poured out His life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For He bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12

Yesterday’s post was entitled, “The thief on a cross…”  but we know that it was not one thief but two – There they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle (John 19:18).”

We also know that both men were guilty of transgressing the Roman government for  Isaiah 53:12 (above) declares that Jesus was numbered with the transgressors. This is truth because it is a statement from God. These men transgressed the law.

We also know that the guilt of the transgressors was completely opposite, so unlike, Jesus for He never transgressed anyone, the law, or God. In fact, He is God. God on a cross. He is absolutely Holy, Righteous, Pure, Perfect, Sinless. This Great and Awesome God so desired to identify with man that He has come to rescue him and He willingly bears the shame of hanging among the transgressors.

Both men were robbers and both joined the others in heaping insults on Jesus. One would think that they would so concerned about their own condition that they would not be caught up in the crucifixion of Jesus. Perhaps they thought they would gain some type favor with the Romans by taking part. We don’t know.

We are not told the specific nature of the crimes these men committed but it must have been far greater than petty since they are hanging on a cross.

38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. 39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. Matthew 27

So here we are at the take-away again. The moment of the so what…what do I take from this portion of the story that will grow my relationship with this same Jesus who was willing to bear shame to identify with me and my condition as He gave His life for me? Selah!

It would be easy to quickly say that I am no thief, never stole anything from anyone. I cannot relate. But there is a need to move from the obvious to ask a more meaningful question, have I ever robbed God or am I robbing Him even now? I believe this to be an important question for all mankind is at the Cross of Calvary.

The easy one is from Malachi 3:8, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” But there are other ways of robbing God so let’s begin a list below:

  • Worship and devotion – so many ‘g’od’s today.  The Lord desires that we have no other “g”ods…that would be no one or nothing loved, treasured or valued greater than we do Him. Surely the cross tells that He deserves our love, worship and devotion, that there can be no other ‘g’od, no competition. Jesus and Jesus alone, not Jesus plus anybody or anything. Am I robbing God? Exodus 20:3, Matthew 22:37-38, Romans 1:25
  • Love – Is it possible to not love the One who first loved us and proved it at the Cross giving us redemption and forgiveness? Does my life demonstrate my love…with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength? Am I robbing God? 1 John 4:19, Luke 10:27, John 14:15, 1 John 5:3
  • Fellowship, communion, pray – we are a busy, busy society with time for everyone and everything but God. He created us for Himself and yet in our busyness is it possible that we do not have time to spend with Him in fellowship, communion, prayer…to behold His beauty, to hear His voice, to know His touch? Am I robbing God? Luke 10:39-42; Psalm 27:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • Praise – The LORD is Creator, Redeemer, I AM, Sovereign, the Giver of Salvation. We live, move, and have our being in Him. He is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory…we know this. Is it possible that we sometimes we manage to praise ourselves, our children, pocketbooks, intellect, possessions and connections more than Him. Am I robbing God? Exodus 3:14, Isaiah 45:5-6, Hebrews 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3
  • Service – Our God has given us so many gifts, talents, and skills. We use them in our daily lives but am I being careful to use them for the cause of Christ and the building of His Kingdom? Jesus said “to whom much is given, much is required.” Am I robbing God? Luke 12:48, Matthew 25:14-30, Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12:6-8
  • Time – Am I giving my Savior more than the quick prayer in the car on the way to work? Am I taking time to encourage and serve others? Do I have quiet time with Him each day? Am I robbing God? Mark 6:30-32, Ephesians 5:15-17, Colossians 4:5
  • Obedience – My love should be for God should be proven in obedience, demonstration of faith and trust…am I robbing God? Mark 12:30, Psalm 18:30, 1 Samuel 15:22
  • Growth – Am I coming to the feet of Jesus that I would grow in His grace and Word so I could know Him in greater ways and He could use me in greater things in His Kingdom?  Am I robbing God? John 17:3, Peter 2:2, Hebrews 5:12, 2 Peter 3:18
  • Glory – Am I robbing God of His glory and trying to establish my own? Isaiah 42:8, Ephesians 6:11-14

Certainly there are more ways to rob God than listed above and the Scripture listing could go on and on…but I believe the Lord would have so love Him and so express our gratitude by not robbing Him of the what He endured shame, brutality, shedding of blood and life to give Him. May He strengthen us by His Spirit and Word that we would be found faithful.

We will continue with the robbers on tomorrow. Bless you today!

John 4.23-24

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Yahweh, You are my God…

Yahweh, You are my God;
I will exalt You. I will praise Your name,
for You have accomplished wonders,
plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
For You have turned the city into a pile of rocks,
a fortified city, into ruins;
the fortress of barbarians is no longer a city;
it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore, a strong people will honor You.
The cities of violent nations will fear You.
For You have been a stronghold for the poor,
a stronghold for the needy person in his distress,
a refuge from the rain, a shade from the heat.
When the breath of the violent
is like rain against a wall,
like heat in a dry land,
You subdue the uproar of barbarians.
As the shade of a cloud cools the heat of the day,
so He silences the song of the violent.

The Lord of Hosts will prepare a feast
for all the peoples on this mountain—
a feast of aged wine, choice meat, finely aged wine.
On this mountain
He will destroy the burial shroud,
the shroud over all the peoples,
the sheet covering all the nations;
He will destroy death forever.
The Lord God will wipe away the tears
from every face
and remove His people’s disgrace
from the whole earth,
for the Lord has spoken.

On that day it will be said,
“Look, this is our God;
we have waited for Him, and He has saved us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for Him.
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”
10 For the Lord’s power will rest on this mountain.
Isaiah 25:1-10

Isaiah 25.9

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The Old Rugged Cross

1Peter 2.24

Six long hours…
“And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. Mark 25:24-25

37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews. 38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.Mark 25:37-50

John add this detail: When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

The Old Rugged Cross
by George Bennard

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best,
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine
Such a wonderful beauty I see
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

REFRAIN:
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down,
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.

 “the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who is seated on the throne and worship Him Who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
“Worthy are You, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for You created all things,
    and by Your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:10-11

 

revelation 5.12

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At the Cross

1 Tim 2.5-6
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as a ransom for all people.
This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
  1 Timothy 2:5-6

The old hymn, At the Cross, written by Isaac Watts is in my heart today and offers the strength I need. The solid doctrine and truth found in the hymns of yesterday is worthy of our holding on to with a tight grip. I love the new songs and would miss them if they were not included in our worship services but songs like the two below can never be replaced. I pray that you will have time to read and meditate each word and receive the blessing!

At The Cross:

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I

Refrain
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature`s sin.

1 Tim2-John 14

But drops of grief can ne`er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
`Tis all that I can do.

Down at the Cross

1 Down at the cross where my Savior died,
down where for cleansing from sin I cried,
there to my heart was the blood applied;
glory to His name!

Refrain:
Glory to His name,
glory to His name:
there to my heart was the blood applied;
glory to His name!

2 I am so wondrously saved from sin,
Jesus so sweetly abides within;
there at the cross where He took me in;
glory to His name! [Refrain]

3 Oh, precious fountain that saves from sin,
I am so glad I have entered in;
there Jesus saves me and keeps me clean;
glory to His name! [Refrain]

4 Come to this fountain so rich and sweet,
cast thy poor soul at the Savior’s feet;
plunge in today, and be made complete;
glory to His name! [Refrain]

Is Your All On The Altar

1 You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed.
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.

Refrain:
Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

2 Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will
To be free from all ill –
On the altar your all you must lay. [Refrain]

3 O we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid. [Refrain]

4 Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made,
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet
When our all on the altar is laid. [Refrain]

Thank you, Jesus, for the cross!
Laying my burdens down and my soul is at rest!

Psalm 62.5-6

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Praise the Lord, everybody!

Psalm 111Psalm 111

Praise the Lord.

I will extol the Lord with all my heart
    in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the Lord;
    they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,Psalm 111.3
    and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
    the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;
    he remembers his covenant forever.

Psalm 111.4He has shown his people the power of his works,
    giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
    all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
    enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
    he ordained his covenant forever—
    holy and awesome is his name.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
    To him belongs eternal praise.

Psalm 111.10

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Hope for today: greatness and power

HopeYours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11

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Hope for today: one thing I ask

hope

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.  For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:4-5  To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Getting my heart ready

John 11.25

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” John 11:35-26

There is a great celebration coming and I am preparing my heart day by day so the rocks will not cry out in my stead! Every day, every Sunday is Resurrection day in the live of a believer but if we were to look through every other day of the year, the one named Resurrection Sunday or Easter is my absolute favorite!

You see, I am know that I am not God. I also know He could tell me in even greater terms, but I know that I am a sinner saved by His grace through faith. Truly, it is amazing grace to “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are (1 John 3:1)!

I marvel that He chose me as His child, drew me to unto Himself, gave the measure of faith, and signed the adoption papers with His blood declaring my case dismissed! I can’t say ‘imagine that’ to this wonder for I don’t have to ‘imagine that’ for His Spirit testifies with my spirit and I have a deep, abiding assurance that it is true! Not only that but ‘He has rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14).

Jesus has placed the seal of His Spirit on me and He lives in me and is always making intercession for me as He sits beside our Father! My Lord and Savior has began a good work in me and I know that He will bring it to completion as He transforms me into His image with ever-increasing glory!

One day I will be given the great, awesome, and humbling privilege of seeing my precious Redeemer face to face and bowing at His feet at His throne in the New Jerusalem in praise and worship. Now that I can only imagine!

Sssssooooo the celebration starts now, in preparation of what we call Resurrection Sunday, in preparation of the New Jerusalem, in preparation of seeing the King of kings and Lord of lords, my Deliverer, Rescuer, and Advocate face to face…I ask Him to prepare my heart day by day. I pray you will take this journey with me and most of all I pray to see you at His feet!

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

In a loud voice they said: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” 13And I heard every creature in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever.” Revelation 5:12-13

Revelation 5.13

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