3/30/20 Isaiah 50:4-9a
Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our Old Testament passage this week, from Isaiah 50:4-9a, points us to Jesus. While we might be tempted, from the first few verses, to say it instructs us in how we should be, we fall short if we stop there. Yes, we should be taught by God, yes, we should speak words of sustenance to the weary, yes, we should be ready to follow God wherever he leads us. But what do we do with verse six?
Verse six, though it could be about many people enduring persecution, has always been understood by Christians to be about Jesus, the one who gave himself over to trial in an illegal court, the one who refused to say anything in his defense before the Roman authorities, the one who was mocked, beaten, had his face disfigured, and was disgraced publicly.
Who vindicated Jesus? God the Father, in the resurrection and the ascension. Who will vindicate the Christian? God the Father, who raised the Son, who gives life to the dead, and who has been reconciled to us through the work of Christ, living and dying on our behalf. Jesus is the one who always gives comfort to his people. Jesus is the one who sustains the weary. Jesus is the one who received pain and suffering in our place. Jesus is the one who died for us. Jesus is the one who unflinchingly faced all the terrors which we could ever face.
Is this a good example for us? It certainly is. What will we do with it? While we try to bring help and comfort to others, we realize our ultimate help and comfort is in the Gospel of Christ, redeeming us and reconciling us to God. He has done his work. He leaves us to represent him in this world. During times of trial, then, we remember Jesus, even as we remind others about Jesus.
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