Holy Week : Wednesday devotional
Today’s devotional will be about Isaiah 50:4-9. I invite you to read this passage before reading the rest of this devotional.
This passage is written in the first person and has thus by most scholars been interpreted to be about ‘the servant’ to whom Isaiah often refers in his book. In the past different scholars have interpreted different sections about ‘the servant’ in different ways and have interpreted it to be about different people. But just like Jesus did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we also want to interpret all the scriptures in the light of Jesus and the cross (Luke 24:25-26).
So in this passage we will try to find out what we can learn about Jesus’ life and suffering and what that means for us today.
Many Jews must have read these verses in Isaiah 50 about the servant thinking they would be about a mere human being who was or would be used by God. Little did they know that God himself would take on the role of the servant talked about in these verses. Part of the fact that the Jews didn’t think the servant would be God is that God was far too holy to be a man.
I think as Christians sometimes we have become so accustomed to the fact that God became man, that it doesn’t actually bring us to worship anymore. Hopefully this passage today, will bring us again to a renewal of worship for God.
In verse 4 & 5 we see that the servant, would be like one being taught. In Luke 2 we read “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man.” How amazing and humbling is it to read that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. It makes me wonder how often we as human beings and as the church can think we have all the answers to every question in life.
Are we also open to growing in wisdom, are our ears open like one being taught? When we read the Bible, do we do that to try to reaffirm what we already believe or are we trying to find new wisdom from God? I know for myself very often it can be the first option.
Verse 6 for me is the crux of the passage that we are reading today. We see here that the servant did not hide his face from mocking and spitting. But it goes even further than this, he offers his back to those who beat him. “Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him (Matthew 26:67)”
This is something that Jesus could have stopped at any moment if he wanted to, but instead he went through it willingly, because He knew it would bring life to us. This is so counter to everything we think as human beings and what the world believes to be powerful.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God ( 1 Cor 1:18).”
This wasn’t something Jesus did out of weakness, no this was the way in which Jesus showed his power and love and also how we can show the power and love of God to the people around us today. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters (1 John 3:16).” In verse 9 we see that the Sovereign Lord will help us in this process.
Being a servant and laying down our lives for us is definitely not always easy. But when we look at the cross this week, we can know that through the hard times we can rely on a Sovereign God who willingly has laid down his life for us.
To download to read offline:
we pray that today you would show us anew the love that you have for us and that you displayed on the cross. Help us each and every day to humble ourselves towards you and others and show that same love to the ones around us. Grow us closer to you today in wisdom and character.
Song to sing along to / listen to : You bled – by Rend collective
By Ruben Tucker.