December 19: Jesus is the Submissive Servant

Isaiah 50:4-6

The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are instructed
to know how to sustain the weary with a word.
He awakens me each morning;
he awakens my ear to listen like those being instructed.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I did not turn back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
and my cheeks to those who tore out my beard.
I did not hide my face from scorn and spitting

In the book of Isaiah, there are a number of passages that are known as the Servant Songs. We have looked at one of them already. However, the song in chapter 50 seems to be unique from the rest as it is written from the perspective of the Servant Himself. As we read this passage, we are listening to the thoughts of the Servant as the Holy Spirit inspires the prophet Isaiah’s writing.

In the midst of this Messianic monologue, we see some of the Messiah’s thoughts as He is tortured. Perhaps the most striking aspect of His thoughts are those first two words, “I gave.” I’m sure we have all found ourselves in situations of discomfort and have thought to ourselves, “I brought this on myself,” but most of the time we don’t willingly subject ourselves to discomfort. It may come as the consequence and reaping of choices, but to willing “give” ourselves over for it? That seems over the top.

But that is exactly what Jesus did. He gave Himself.

“He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.” –Hebrews 7:27

“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” –Ephesians 5:2

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.” -1 Timothy 2:5,6

“…looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession,…” -Titus 2:13,14

In this final week of Advent, take the time to meditate on the overwhelming love of Jesus that is seen in His willingness to submit to the wickedness of mankind. He gave, He offered, He served us and we can offer nothing in return.

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