Journey to Jerusalem Day 41
Monday in Holy Week, April 6 Isaiah 53:7-12
7 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.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
My first prayer for you is that you read Isaiah’s prophecy (above) as many times as you have the power to withstand its dreadful pronouncements. It is the gospel as Jesus experienced it. Jesus knew his scriptures, and these words stood by him at Gethsemane, unlike his closest friends.
Also unlike those three, these words were wide awake. Jesus had them for company, his Father, his love for his Father, and his love for us—nothing more.
Search the words in vain for comfort. As for his Father’s concern, see verse 10a.
Still “not my will, but yours, be done,” he said.
It is Monday in Holy Week, and your life likely is humming along with the issues that make it uniquely yours. You are likely looking forward to the Easter holiday and its feast. If you have small children or grandchildren, you may be planning an Easter egg hunt. It will be a fun time. Another Lent is drawing to its close. Six more days, and it is finished.
My second prayer for you is that you attend a Good Friday service, and that you sacrifice the time to participate in an Easter prayer Vigil. We have one, and it has proven to be one of the most profound experiences of this writer’s life.
For it is there in the early hours of Holy Saturday when the world is quiet and the candle flickers that the invitation is extended again to stand by with him, to say “I love you too, Lord” merely by being there with him.
There is nothing more you can do. Prayers will not prove serviceable; but presence will. And there, touched in turn, one can never be the same.
Nor will one want it otherwise.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your Gethsemane, making ours so much easier.