As those of you who read my blog may have noticed, I have been really encouraged reading through the book of Isaiah. So, rolling with the continued theme, here are some more verses that stuck out to me this past week.
"As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:"
"For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of the dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."
Despite the vivid description given in these verses, the first phrase that comes to mind is "the beauty of the cross." Physically, the image would be anything but beautiful. I don't think I could stomach watching the beatings and crucifixion of Jesus and yet the beauty so deeply lies in what He did for me and the love had for me in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We were only deserving of hell, but He was yet willing to bear the suffering so that we could be reconciled with our Father and Creator. As He earnestly prayed in the garden of Gethsemane that the cup pass from Him, He chose to be obedient to the Father's will.
"Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the things whereunto I sent it."
Isaiah 55: 6-11