The Other Picture of the Suffering Servant
Title: The Other Picture of the Suffering Servant
Reading for July 29: Isaiah 50-52
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.
But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
He who vindicates me is near.
Isaiah 53 is not only the most famous chapter in Isaiah, it is one of the most famous chapters in the whole Bible. The picture of the suffering servant in that chapter is one of the most vivid and profoundly moving descriptions of the cross in all of scripture.
I wonder, though, if it's fame has drawn our attention away from this jewel in Isaiah 50. Though not as lengthy as Isaiah 53, the portrait painted for us here is no less compelling. Consider the highlights for a moment:
1. It describes a willing and obedient servant (v 5).
2. It shows his meekness in the face of hostility against him (v 6).
3. It reveals his confidence in the face of this shame and disgrace (v 7). He believes that God will ultimately vindicate him. (Hear him saying, "Into your hands I commit my spirit." - Lk 23:46.)
The next time you take the Lord's Supper, consider opening your Bible to Isaiah 50 and meditate on the beauty of our Savior which on display in this great chapter.
Father, we can't imagine how hard it was to watch your Son go through all of this abuse. We bow down in reverence before you with thankful hearts.