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. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
As you reflect this week on Christ who willingly became the Suffering Lamb
CLICK HERE to listen to "So Long, Moses" by Andrew Peterson.
Seriously? Must we talk about the Suffering Servant now? It doesn’t sound like the right passage to reflect on while decorating Christmas trees or frosting sugar cookies. If this is how you feel, you are not alone. But let’s step back for a moment and look at the bigger picture. Way before that glorious night when the sky shone bright and a multitude of angels sang of Jesus’ birth, God has been powerfully at work, carving out the lineage of the Messiah and exercising His sovereignty generation after generation, through a complex history that highlights a loving God who was repeatedly rejected by those He loved.
Such reality was expressed by the prophet Isaiah who boldly spoke about sin – in that they (and we) have all gone astray, everyone to his own way. Yet Isaiah also prophesied with hope. Hope will be found in the One whom he called The Servant, who will fulfill God’s purpose.
How will The Servant accomplish this? By giving His own life for our sake.
If it is our hearts’ desire to fully behold the Lamb of God this season of Advent, we need to take a closer look at the Lamb that was led to the slaughter, and be in awe of how great a sacrifice He bore on our behalf.
A lamb that is taken to the slaughter does not return to the pasture to graze. It is led to its death. There is no greater sacrifice than the giving of one’s life, and that’s exactly what Christ, The Suffering Servant, did. Furthermore, let us ponder and be amazed at the humility of Christ as He obeyed the will of the Father, like a sheep that remains silent before its shearers.
This is a portrait of absolute surrender, one that I yearn and pray for in my own life. As we rejoice in the freedom that was bought for us by the Lamb who bore our iniquity, may we who have been pardoned, also fervently ask the Holy Spirit to transform us into the image of the Savior we celebrate; a Son whose only joy was to do His Father’s will.
How wonderful that Jesus did not only tell us, but He actually showed us where true joy and meaning can be found. Joy that does not fade when the holidays are over. Joy that lasts forever. It certainly isn’t in a safe and cozy bubble that leaves no room for God’s greater glory in self-denial and sacrifice. Neither do we find meaningful existence by seeking a life devoid of any risk and suffering. The big message of hope in the Suffering Servant who was obedient unto death, is that we can place our total security and find our complete satisfaction in God Almighty, regardless of the circumstances.
The Author of life who provided a way for His creation to be saved and restored will not cease to love us. He is always faithful and good. In Him, we have joy that will ring through our worship, sustain our walk and empower our witness.
Are you longing for joy? Are you searching for meaning? Are you in a season of suffering? Take heart for our Savior has been called a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Turn your eyes upon Him. Behold the Suffering Lamb. Rest in Him for He is Christ, our Lord.