December 15 - Messiah - Isaiah 53:3-6; Isaiah 50:6

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15 - Messiah - Isaiah 53:3-6; Isaiah 50:6

He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows! 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. 

He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off His hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting.

There are many anecdotes of Handel’s life – this is one of my favorites! (source unknown)

Handel is said to have detested hearing the tuning of instruments, and therefore, this was always done before he arrived at the theater. A prankster, stole into the orchestra, one night when the Prince of Wales was to be present, and untuned all the instruments. As soon as the Prince arrived, Handel gave the signal to begin, con spirito; but such was the horrible discord, that the enraged composer started up from his seat, and having overturned a double-bass which stood in his way, he seized a kettle-drum, which he threw with such violence at the leader of the orchestra, that he lost his full-bottomed wig in the effort. Without waiting to replace it, he advanced bare-headed to the front of the orchestra, breathing vengeance, but was so choked with passion that he was unable to speak. He stood there staring and stamping amidst the audience's laughter. The Prince went to him in person and with much difficulty appeased his wrath. Only then would Handel resume his seat at the instrument.

There is no greater love than that a man lay down his life for his friend. (John 15:13)  We know those words to be true, and we know that Jesus Christ called us friend, proving it be dying for our sins.  But, he also took great pain and shame for us as well.

For the one who is to be called King to allow public humiliation by allowing himself to be spat upon is beyond what most of us would ever consider. We don’t take humiliation well, no matter the reason.  We fight back with everything we have.  We won’t allow people to say bad things about us, our family, our church, our sports team, our town, our country.  We fight.  He bore it all.

He didn’t just die on the cross, though that was the worst possible death a man could face. Before he went through that, he was whipped and beaten, a crown of thorns forced on his head.  He didn’t do this because he had committed a crime, but because we were sinners.  

To bring us peace, he offered his life – not only His spirit, but His body as well.  To take away our grief, he offered himself.  For the healing of our lives, he was beaten.

We have been given the gift of life, peace and healing and we can’t ignore the gift.  It came at too great a cost. When we spend too much time complaining about the terrible costs that life seems to exact from us; we must remember that this gift was given in order that we might have abundant joy.

The pain that He bore was so that we could live without sin; so we can live in love.  That is how we show our gratitude.