“He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:3-5 NKJV
We have become a culture leaning on hashtags and slogans to solve all our ills. We have convinced ourselves that by merely identifying a problem and attaching the proper # it will mysteriously be fixed. I have heard many slogans in my time, and very few have ever really come to fruition.
We had “Peace in our time”, the War on Poverty, Make America Great Again, Build back better, and even Black Lives Matter. None of them have delivered, and none of them ever will. Peace is scarce, America is in decline, I doubt that anything will be built, let alone better, and black lives are slipping away in record numbers in the streets of the inner city, and in abortion clinics around the country.
This morning, I spent a little time in the book of Isaiah, reading a familiar prophetic passage about Jesus. I was reminded of that God/Man who went to the cross for the sins of the world. As it says in the text, He was despised and rejected by men. I doubt that there would have been any hashtags for Him if social media had been around.
Jesus came to bring real change and real healing to this world. His words were backed by action, as He lived the words that He preached, and shed His blood to give real power.
In our world we are looking for solutions, for ways to bring justice to the downtrodden, comfort to the afflicted, provision for the poor, and peace to the world. We are not calling upon the power of God to bring these things about, but the weakness of politics. We are divided into enemy camps, trying to bring about lasting change through domination. It does not work. It will never work.
Those pushed down will eventually rise up, and those who are up, will fall. It is all an eternal seesaw, rising and falling, destroying lives along the way. We continue anyway, ignoring the will of God.
As we ignore God we actively hate Him, condemning anyone who is for Him, and deceive ourselves into believing that we can do better. In reality, we seek to set ourselves up as God. In our vanity, we fail to see that we are making no progress, failing constantly, becoming more divided as there is a blindness to our common humanity.
God is watching.
“Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:”
Psalms 2:1-5 NKJV
Even as God is rejected, He shows His great mercy in that He continues to work behind the scenes, saving souls and transforming people to go forth into the world and faithfully take the message of the Gospel to all who will hear.
Jesus never turned from His mission on the cross, as every utterance was directed toward His finished work. He looked past the mockings of the moment, and followed through.
He took the violence of man upon Himself, as the stripes upon His back were for the healing of the people. He paid for sins that we can have access to God. Fully Man, yet fully God, Jesus felt the same struggles that anyone of us would, if faced with such a prospect of a torturous death and separation from His loving Father. But He did it anyway.
Sin has affected the whole of creation, and everything groans in its suffering. All of the ills of the world come from the fall of Adam. All healing comes from the stripes of Jesus.
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”
Romans 8:20-22 NKJV
Though He dreaded being separated from God, even though momentarily, He yielded His will to serve, to save, and die for the nations.
“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”
Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will. ””
Matthew 26:36, 38-39 NKJV
Destruction coming to this world, and in part, is already here. It will be way beyond the power of the hashtag. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to motivate men and women to rise up, shake off the cultural conventions and go forth sharing the message of the Gospel.
Jesus brought the transformation and healing for this world when He went to the cross. For almost two thousand years, we have had a choice: to continue in the powerlessness that we have toiled in for centuries, or dwell in the victory.
The time for choices is rapidly coming to an end. There is coming a day when Jesus will return to establish His kingdom, and those who have not chosen Him will have their choice made for them. Choose Jesus today!
““Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Matthew 24:29-30 NKJV
“He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
Revelation 22:20 NKJV
One thought on “#Stripes”
Amen! Come Lord Jesus, please.