Saturday, March 22, 2014

Focus '14-Modeling Jesus-Entry #11

Hi Friends!

As we study the words of Jesus from the cross, I was reminded of a verse in Ephesians where the Apostle Paul instructs the church about our speech.

Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

We should be most grateful that Jesus had no corrupt communication from His mouth: He completely embodied truth and grace (see John 1) which edify and minister the gift of God to those who hear.

Isaiah 53 (see that passage below) speaks about how no guile was found in Him and Jesus tells us why: Jesus said "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."

I am most grateful that Jesus had a heart filled with truth and grace and modeled the communication needs of humanity: even from the cross.

Join me in asking God to renew His Spirit within us to continue to speak His truth in ways that edify and minister with His grace to those who hear: may our hearts model His as we speak.

We are all sinners saved by the gift of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ from the cross: the words we speak as a church should model the forgiveness and assurance we find in Him even in a culture of crucifixion.

God's Peace,

Isaiah 53 (NIV)

53 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

1 comment:

  1. Jesus is described in John 1:14 as being full of grace and truth. He spoke grace to all, and spoke the truth in love.

    I like to imagine how the writers of the Bible - Isaiah, in this case - saw what they were writing. They wrote under the inspiration of God. This isn't Isaiah sitting down and coming up with a good story. I think that as he wrote this and went back later to reread it, he was thinking "Poor guy. Whoever he is, he's going to get it.". Isaiah may have known he was writing about the Messiah, but Isaiah didn't know Jesus. They were separated by about 700 years or so.

    But in Acts 8, Philip talked to the Ethiopian eunuch. Philip knew Jesus - he was one of Jesus' disciples. Philip understood what Isaiah was referring to better than Isaiah did. He had seen the Lamb that was slain.

    As Christians who have the Holy Spirit in us, we need to live out 1 Peter 3:15, which says "sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence".

    Amen, and amen.