Jesus Christ The Perfect Lamb (2)
In the Bible, Isaiah chapter 53 speaks of the Messiah that was to come through the nation of Israel. Jesus Christ was going to suffer for the sins of all people. Such a prophecy is astounding! Who would believe that God would choose to save the world through a humble, suffering servant rather than a glorious king? The idea is contrary to human pride and worldly ways. But God often works in ways we do not expect. The Messiah’s strength is shown by humility, suffering and mercy.
There was nothing attractive in the physical appearance of this servant. Israel would miscalculate the servant’s importance – they would consider him an ordinary man. But even though Jesus would not attract a large following by the world’s standard of measure, he brought salvation and healing. This man of sorrows was rejected by those around him, and he is still rejected by many today.
In the Old Testament, people offered animals as sacrifices for their sins. Here, the sinless servant of the Lord offers himself for our sins. Jesus Christ is the lamb offered for the sins of all people (John 1 v 29; Revelation 5 v 6-14). The Messiah suffered for our sakes, bearing our sins to make us acceptable to God. What can we say to such love? How will we respond to him?
How could an Israelite understand the idea of Christ dying for our sins – actually bearing the punishment that we deserved? The sacrifices suggested this idea, but it is one thing to kill a lamb, and something quite different to think of God’s chosen servant as that Lamb. But God was pulling aside the curtain of time to let the children of Israel of Isaiah’s generation look ahead to the suffering of the future Messiah, and the resulting forgiveness made available to all mankind.
Isaiah speaks of Israel straying from God and likens them to wandering sheep. Yet God will send the Messiah to bring them back into the fold. We have the hindsight to see and know the identity of the promised Messiah, who has come and died for our sins. This man of sorrows was rejected by those around him. But If individuals today can see all that Jesus did and still reject him, we have a much greater sin than that of the ancient Israelites, who could not see what we have seen.
“By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many” tells of the enormous family of believers who will become righteous, not by their own works, but by the Messiah’s great work on the cross. They are counted righteous because they have claimed their inheritance in Jesus Christ (Romans 10 v 9 and 2 Corinthians 5 v 21). Their life of sin is stripped away. and they are newly clothed with Christ’s goodness. Have you given your life to Jesus Christ, or are you still like a wandering sheep? Do you reject Jesus by standing against him? Do you ignore Him and his great gift of forgiveness? Do you reject Him, ignore Him, or accept Him?