The Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53) faces me in a strong way today. Today I am face-to-face with Jesus, and I am not comfortable. I am not okay.
I am offended and ashamed. Today I am face-to-face with Jesus the Christ who saves me through a vicarious suffering that I continue to hate. He did not suffer in anticipation of my suffering; He suffered INSTEAD OF...
That frustrates my mind and heart for different reasons; it always has.
I am frustrated with God that sins must be paid for; let alone that the payment must be death and suffering. I hate that we are made whole through pain, suffering, and death. I realize there is nothing I can do to change this reality, and that God is sovereign. I realize God's will, plan, and wisdom is far beyond me, but I simply hate it in my mind, heart, and soul.
The second reason I am frustrated by my face-to-face with Jesus today is the realization of how undeserving He was for what was done to Him. In a world and time when I realize my call to stand for the orphaned, widowed, and oppressed, I am faced with a Jesus who was oppressed, afflicted, rejected, despised, wounded, and unduly punished.
My heart has been sliced with anger at reading in Isaiah 53:8,
"By a PERVERSION OF JUSTICE he was taken away."
As Christians we have been and are being called to fight for people who are marginalized. We are to be going places our governments have not. We are to fight for justice for those who cannot fight for themselves; the afflicted, oppressed, wounded, rejected, and despised.
Today I am face-to-face with Jesus, who was made an effect of a "perversion of justice". I am angry and uncomfortable.
I am ashamed that this perversion of justice was enacted on Jesus instead of me.
ME who deserves punishment INSTEAD OF a man who had committed no violence or deceit.
ME who has been guilty of numerous things INSTEAD OF one who even people of no faith recognize as wonderful, respectful, and beautiful.
My faith and righteousness is a perversion of justice, and I am angrily grateful to Jesus for it.
* May 1 marks the beginning of "30 Days w/Jesus"; a 30-day reading plan Tonya and I are embarking on with a few other people. If you are interested and would like to embark on this journey with us, let me know or go to http://www.tniv.com/Experience%20it/docs/plan_jesus_30.pdf
LISTENING TO: Common Market (self-titled)