Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Friday, December 9, 2011
Read | Isaiah 53
Yesterday, as we explored some biblical history leading up to the time of Jesus, we saw that the Jews were expecting a Savior. Yet Jesus didn’t match the Messiah they anticipated.
The people imagined a strong ruler who would lead their nation with worldly power, but the Lord was a servant who spent time with outcasts. They hoped for a man who would end Israel’s persecution; He died a criminal’s death and warned His followers that they would not be accepted by the world. It is, then, no surprise that the Jewish people rejected Him. He did not fit what they wanted—yet He was so much more than they understood.
For all of us will one day stand before God, and in our iniquity, we would be unworthy to remain in His presence. His judgment of sin will be death, an agonizing eternal existence apart from Him. This is what He warned Adam in Genesis 2:17—that if he sinned, he would die.
Yet Jesus bore our sin so that whoever trusts in Him can look forward to eternal life instead (John 3:16). Christ chose to bear our punishment—the Holy One voluntarily dying the death of a criminal so we could live forever in His presence. Jesus was “the way” (14:6) that God could satisfy His justice yet love His people.
Jesus’ gift of salvation is free. It requires nothing on our part except acceptance and surrender. Have you accepted His death on the cross as the atonement for your sin? The Redeemer’s death leads to life, and though He doesn’t guarantee an easy road, He promises to stay with you always.
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 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. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 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. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9 And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul,and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.