Thursday, April 1, 2010
O Holy Night...
"He is despised and rejected by men
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
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.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked..
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His Mouth."
I have written tonight from the prophet Isaiah, which was written in the 8th century B.C....over 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. There is no clearer picture in the Old Testament of the Messiah than what has been written in the prophecies of Isaiah. I am not a theologian or a great Bible scholar, but it doesn't take much education to see the clear picture of Christ's death foretold in this passage. There are so many other pictures of Christ in the Old Testament, that it would take 39 books to find them all.
Another portrait of Christ foretold in the Old Testament is in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 12...the story of the Passover. The spotless lamb that was slain, and the shed blood that was placed on the doorposts of every Hebrew family as a covering, so that when the Angel of the Lord passed through the land of Egypt on that night, killing all the firstborn in the land of Egypt because of their refusal to free the people of God; when the Lord saw the blood on their houses, He passed over those homes, and the plague did not touch the inhabitants. When Christ, who was the spotless lamb of God, was slain on the cross...the blood that He shed was a covering for our sins, so that we would not be condemned to die in our sinful condition.
Tonight is a holy night...Christ knew that He would have to die the next day...He knew that He would have to suffer many tortures for the sins of the world. But He did it willingly...for you and for me...because He knew there was no other way to cover our sins. There was no other way to bridge the gap between earth and heaven...His cross became that bridge, enabling us to cross over into heaven when that day comes. There is no other way.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
"Surely He bore our sorrows, and by His stripes we are healed."
So be it, Lord.