Saturday, December 18, 2010

During this moment in my personal history, I have found it incredibly difficult to focus on the Virgin Birth, but rather my focus has been placed on the death of Jesus.

Perhaps my own personal suffering has caused me to look further than the birth, and see the death and how painful it really was. Yes, we've all read the doctor's reports on how physically aunguising the death of Christ on the Cross was, but we neglect the emotional and mental aunguish as its too close to home, to hard, to think about Him as He walked up to Jerusalem, as He was betrayed by a kiss that mean friendship, kinship and love.

Why? Because we've walked through it all this year, Andrew and I. We've had the kiss of greeting turn into betrayel, we've walked up to Jerusalem with Andrew's family, not physically, but metaphysically, knowing that the painful walk would only turn into a more painful end. We have breathed the words, "It is finished." We too, have watched a loved one drink the sour wine and suffer.

And so the words that comfort me come from the book of Isaiah in chapter 53.

3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

Even when others turn their backs on us, He knows how we feel.

4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows[a] that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!

When we have troubles caused by other people's sins, we can know He too was acused of the same.

5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.

Pain so that ours could be salved.

6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.

7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.[b]
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.[c]
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.

Ultimate rejection so that we could be accepted. Paradox of paradoxes.

10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.

May our sufferings be as Jesus', and may many come to see His righteousness as we act out His love and Holiness.

If it were not for this, all would have been in vain. May we decrease so He increases this Season of reflection. With His stripes, we have been healed. Merry Christmas.

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