Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. 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. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! 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. 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. 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. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. 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. 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. 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.
Dear God, I’ve read some of these prophecies about Jesus many times, but I found myself wondering this morning about him as a boy and then how he developed into a man. At what point did his identity start to form in his mind? When he first heard these words or other prophecies like this did your Holy Spirit whisper to him, “This is you”? Maybe Mary and/or Joseph told him. Maybe they told him the story of his conception and birth. Maybe they told him about the wise men and then fleeing to Egypt. I’m sure they waited until he was older until they told him about the children who died.
Then, at some point, he had to figure out something they didn’t understand at first. That Zechariah and Elizabeth didn’t understand about John and Jesus. He had to understand this passage. He had to reject the idea that he would be loved and conquer. He had to embrace the words here that he would be despised. When he was in the temple at 12, maybe that’s what he was asking about. That’s a total guess, but he had a lot to learn. And then, when he got to his own baptism and 40 days of fasting followed by the temptations, he had to resist going against this prophecy. This prophecy and the plan you laid out for Jesus through it is the reason I can be here today. In fact, now that I think about it, maybe it was written more for Jesus than anyone else.
Father, I am grateful. I’m grateful for your plan. I’m grateful for Jesus. I’m grateful for Isaiah. I’m grateful for scripture. I’m so grateful. Thank you for all of this!
In Jesus’s name I pray,