Who would you take a bullet for, or step in front of a speeding car for, or curl around in a fire to protect them from the flames? Would you do it for someone you love, or how about a really good friend, or maybe a stranger? Would you do it for someone that hates you? How about someone that plots against you?
In Isaiah 53:3 it tells us “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Yet in spite of that He continued to obey the will of God. Then in verse 5 it further defines His dedication to the obedience to God when it tells us “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
God had made prophesies in the scriptures of the servant redeemer to come clear to those watching for him. When He arrived and declared His kingdom wasn’t of this world, not of the world you can feel and touch, the leaders rejected Him as a heretic. When He rejected their piety as self-righteousness denying the glory and power of God the religious leaders plotted to kill Jesus. They expected someone that would setup an earthly kingdom and rule. They did not expect someone that would display the love and personal relationship of God and that every person could live in communion with God as a child redeemed. The religious scholars for all their education in the scriptures their eyes were blinded to the truth of verse 10 of Isaiah 53, “Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.”
The religious leaders expected the Messiah to break the rule of Rome and restore Israel. Jesus did come to de-throne an oppressor but it wasn’t the Romans, it was the ruler of the air, Satan. From the time of the fall Satan has done all he could to ruin God’s plans. I have heard preachers say before that Satan hates people, and to a degree that is true. Satan hates God. God loves people. So, Satan does hate people but only to try to ruin God’s plans. Satan may be a powerful being but he isn’t real bright. He hates the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the author of life, the Omnipresence of God. He intends to take on the creator. I believe it truly saddens God that Satan and a third of the angels rebelled against HIM.
Getting back to my original question of whom you would sacrifice your life for, Jesus, after being humiliated, scourged, spit upon, having handfuls of His beard ripped out, mocked, and totally degraded as He hung between Heaven and earth naked and abused, between God and man, He looks Godward and pleads, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing.” He wasn’t pleading for those that believed in Him, but for those that didn’t believe in Him. Actually they thought they were doing God a service by having Him put to death.
If you go and read the entire chapter of Isaiah 53 it gives you a pretty good image of the Messiah’s main purpose. Then turn over into the New Testament and read John chapter 19:28-30 you’ll see the culmination of the plan of God, through Jesus.
John 19:28-30 ” 28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
This is how valuable and worthwhile you are to God. Jesus, God in the flesh, died just so you would have the choice to become free to “walk in the cool of the day with God.” God loves you so much that you have been given the choice to NOT choose Him if you don’t want His love.