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Prophecy of the Preceding Christ
by Dan Kidd
"Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 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."
Isaiah, centuries before Jesus would hang on a cross, prophetically proclaims the rectifying, healing work of God. Jesus would be accused, sentenced, tortured, and executed by humanity, with humanity, and for humanity. It's impressive how alive this passage is--how it can meet us and move us--relating us to the person and personhood of Jesus. Isaiah paints in color for us the event of Jesus' death and ugly, tangled mess of circumstances surrounding it. And also the Gospel of in it all.
In seasons of rejection, loneliness, and abandonment, Jesus precedes and meets us there; he sits with us, ministering to us by his presence and shouldering with us the weight of our sorrow. When we are overwhelmed by the wickedness and injustice of it all, when the world does not go as it ought to and we feel powerless or even cynical Jesus precedes as an innocent man sentenced to die--and offers us the hope that his Kingdom will come and, eventually, every knee will bow and tongue confess his lordship. In shadowy, deathly valleys Jesus shepherds us, having traveled through death into resurrected life, sitting with us there at the banquet table. Even when we find ourselves among the hateful, the antagonistic, the malcontent; even when we see ourselves for the sinners that we are, we find our rest in Jesus who swallowed our wrath and the peace we sought, the healing we've longed for, was on him--in his wounds.
Christ crucified, having poured out his life unto death, has interceded for our transgressions. What was stained is white again; our prodigal wandering can be left behind that we'd return home to our Father. Praise be to God!
Lectio - Prayerfully invite the Lord to guide you as you re-read today’s passage. Let God guide you to words or phrases he'd have you pay attention to. Consider how you're encountering Jesus today in this passage. In what ways do you feel related to Jesus in this passage? How do you feel called to respond to the passage? Close your reading in prayer, thanking Jesus for being for us and with us, even in the depths, and for rescuing us.