Focal Passage: Isaiah 53:2-12
Our modern American society has some rather shallow ideas about beauty; the right height, weight, shape, hairdo, and smile define “beautiful.” According to Isaiah, Jesus could not pass the modern cultural test for American beauty. He lacked the swagger and suaveness to be considered attractive, and was despised and forsaken. Jesus became like us in the flesh to provide righteousness, that which is so unlike us in spirit. God knew that lost people needed a Savior who was beautiful because of His divine nature and perfect obedience to the Father – not a passing handsome face. The true beauty of Jesus was put on display by God the Father when He offered His Son as the once-for-all sacrifice for sins. Far from being a victim of circumstance, Jesus was God’s sin offering from the foundation of the world.
Many people suffered the physical torment of crucifixion, but Jesus suffered both physically and spiritually as he experienced the never before known horror of separation from the Father. Jesus never ceased to be God the Son, but He experienced a break in His eternally perfect fellowship with the Father that we cannot fully comprehend. Some Christians tend to limit the scope of Jesus’ healing (Isaiah 53:5) to temporal physical healing, but His stripes brought healing that went far deeper than our physical ills. He came to redeem sin-sick souls who had rejected the One who could meet their greatest need – eternal spiritual healing from sin. How often do we consider that Jesus, the sin bearer, never committed the first sin, qualifying Him to cleanse us and make us the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:17)? God’s own sin offering takes away His righteous anger toward all who believe and allows us to have fellowship with Him. We rebelled and yet God provided the solution to our hopeless predicament so that we might be reconciled to Him. Of all the rescues we’ve experienced (broken down car, fire, flood, etc.), none compares to our spiritual rescue through Christ.