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Journey to Jerusalem Day 40

Palm Sunday, April 5 Isaiah 52:13-53:6

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths because of him,
for that which has not been told them they see,
and that which they have not heard they understand.
1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
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 pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds 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.

Jesus looked down from the Mount of Olives. There, below him was the Garden of Gethsemane, the Kidron Valley, and the Eastern Gate into Jerusalem. Towering above it all was the mighty, magnificent temple. Jesus had seen this sight all his life. But today would be different.
Everything in his life had led to this moment. Indeed, all history had led to this moment. The only begotten son of God was about to make his grand entry into Jerusalem. He would be welcomed by hundreds, maybe thousands of pilgrims who were there for the Passover. But soon, the city he loved would reject and kill him. And he knew it.
One wonders if the words of Isaiah (above) filled his mind. These words, written hundreds of years earlier, had long confused Jewish scholars. Who was the servant referred to in these verses? No one knew. But sitting on a donkey overlooking Jerusalem, Jesus knew. Those words… were about him.
He was despised and rejected by men.
He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
He was crushed for our iniquities.
The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The time had come. Jesus, the spotless lamb of God would be slain. His voluntary, sacrificial death would serve as a substitute for every sinner. It would be hard, painful, cruel. The Light of the World would enter into unthinkable, unbearable darkness. We can’t even imagine it. But Jesus knew.
He said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:23-24)
The most epic event in history was about to begin.

Thank you, Jesus, for your courageous, sacrificial love for us. Amen.