"Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well being fell upon Him and by His scourging we are healed." Isaiah 53:4-5

We are on holy ground this morning as we delve into Isaiah 53. These are the prophetic words spoken by Isaiah in 740 BC concerning the Son of God, our Messiah, our Lord. He opens the chapter with these words:

"Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’

I hope as you read these words you may answer "me!" If not, I pray you will allow Him to impart revelation and understanding this morning of who Jesus Christ was, and is, and will forever be. You absolutely must study this chapter alone with Him to allow Him to do so. This devotional is just a stepping stone to get you there. Isaiah wrote these words 740 years before the birth of our Saviour! It is amazing how accurately He describes Jesus as having no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him or His appearance that we should be attracted to Him. It wasn’t the external that was appealing, but the internal. We cannot control our outward appearance we are born with, but we all can control what we become from within.

We are told He was despised, and we did not value Him. As we read of our Lord’s life in Isaiah let those of us who are true followers of Him realize this is describing our life also in this world. We may be little known by this world, and not valued, but this is not our home. This is not the kingdom we belong to.

As we look at verses 4-5 we must observe the false judgement we made as He died for us. He was totally innocent and had never sinned. He had done no violence, There was no deceit found in His mouth. The word, "but" in these verses is very important. He was bearing our griefs and sorrow on that cross. It was not His own. It was anything but God’s judgement pertaining to His perfect begotten Son.

When I have gone through some of the most difficult times in my life I too have felt the agonizing sting of judgement from other Christians. This happened when others who I believed knew me decided I must have sin in my life, when in reality I was a victim of other’s choices that deeply affected my life and family. Jesus Himself comforted me, and made me to understand I had entered into the fellowship of His sufferings. This gave me great consolation, and again what the enemy used to try to destroy me God used for my good and His glory. I gained Christ Jesus, and there is no cost too great for that eternal gift of knowing Him more intimately and understanding His love for me.

"But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, the chastening for our well being fell upon Him and by His scourging we are healed."

The greatest exchange in the course of history took place. The greatest act of love ever displayed in the universe happened that day. The Father of all creation asked His only Son to offer Himself up as a guilt offering for mankind once and for all.

Paul described it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:21

"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."

God’s definition of love is sacrifice. He paid the ultimate sacrifice when He asked His Son to take our place on the cross. It would have been less of a sacrifice if it had been the Father Himself who went to the cross.

God gave me my mother’s heart. I loved children, but I felt I could never be a good mother. I wanted to have an orphanage, but I feared the responsibility of bringing a child into the world. As I surrendered my life to Him daily He was able to give me the courage to have that desire. Immediately I gave birth to my only daughter, Sarah Beth. Three sons followed. Sarah and I did everything together. One weekend we had come home to the mountains to visit my mom, and there was a new horse my brother had recently bought standing in the field. Sarah was just learning to ride. She really wanted an opportunity to ride this horse. I eventually agreed, but before I would let her get on I wanted to make sure she couldn’t get hurt. I rode the horse first and it performed perfectly. But with her inexperience, when she got on the horse, it immediately acted up. I got her off, and got back on, and the horse astoundingly reared up and fell backwards on top of me crushing my pelvis and almost taking my life as they lost my vital signs in the ambulance heading to the hospital. I laid unconscious for days due to meds for pain, but I remember vividly what happened when I came to and could think clearly. The first thing I did was thank God it wasn’t my daughter, but me who took that fall. I knew I could not have bared to see her suffer as I was. God gently spoke back to me,

"But it was my Son."

Those four words gave me revelation I had never understood until that moment. I had never understood the sacrifice the Father made when He watched His totally innocent only Son die for my sins and yours!

What the enemy meant for harm and destruction God was already using for my good. That is the kind of God we serve. My circumstances weren’t very good in the physical realm, but in the spirit realm my spirit soared in that moment.

It was only the beginning of a long arduous journey that God continues to use for my good and for others to this day. Because of having to rehabilitate myself, trusting God alone, I gained great knowledge on rehabilitation in the water. I eventually became certified as a water rehabilitation therapist and personal trainer to help others as God has helped me and continues to as I rely on Him. I truly am a miracle. I was sent home in a wheelchair with little hope of walking normal ever again, let alone running! As a result, I became an experiential teacher. I do not teach what I have not lived. That is why I live with such passion.

"By His scourging we are healed."

I thank God for the physical healings I have experienced as I put my trust in Him allowing Him to do so. But more than that, I thank God for the inner healing of the brokenness I have experienced on the inside. When we love deeply, we get hurt deeply. But I know there is no pain God’s love cannot heal and enable forgiveness.

Forgiveness is very much a part of complete healing. That is true for me, and it is true for you. Until we allow God to love us and heal us, we cannot possibly love others the way we were intended to. But more importantly we cannot love God the way we were created to.

That is what we were created for: to love God with our all and to love one another. So we must start by positioning ourselves to love Him, so He is allowed to love us, and reveal true love as described in Isaiah 53 and throughout the Bible. We will have to allow God to rid us of all our preconceived ideas of what love is, and allow Him and His Word to transform our hearts by the renewing of our minds. We cannot allow ourselves to become conformed to this world. Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world and neither is His love of this world. It is far superior to anything we can imagine. For those of us who truly strive to follow Him with all our heart we anxiously look forward to our great heavenly kingdom we are about to enter.

The only way any of us can enter is through Isaiah 53. I challenge you to allow God to give you true revelation of His love for you through His sacrifice as He had to watch His Son bear the sins of the world on that cross. Only His own Son was totally holy and sinless. Jesus loved His Father enough to declare:

"Not My will, but Thy will be done."

O what wondrous love is this! I know many will not be able to receive this love, but I pray you will purpose to become one of the few.

Let’s recall Isaiah’s introduction in Isaiah 53:

"Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

Will you become one of the few who will allow God to reveal the hidden mysteries of His love for you in Isaiah 53?

Jesus is the strong arm of the Lord. I pray by the end of this day you will be able to write in your Bible at the end of this verse as I have — Me! I personally know I can become the righteousness of God through His Son and my Savior! There is no evil that you can commit that you cannot be forgiven and cleansed from through the blood of the Lamb of God. Remember, His love is the greatest power in existence. It will always prevail and triumph!

In His love.

Teresa Roberts

Masterpiece Fitness

www.masterpiecefitness.com

276-237-6680

One of God’s greatest gifts to me is the abundance of wildflowers I get to enjoy while running through fields near home. I saw my first daisy this week, along with crimson clover, and wild phlox! I often experience Isaiah 55:12-13:

"FOR YOU WILL GO OUT WITH JOY AND BE LED FORTH WITH PEACE; THE MOUNTAINS AND THE FIELDS WILL BREAK FORTH INTO SHOUTS OF JOY BEFORE YOU! … IT WILL BE A MEMORIAL TO THE LORD, AN EVERLASTING SIGN WHICH WILL NOT BE CUT OFF."

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