I’m not looking for myself in Scripture. I do want to ask the “so what” question . . . and seek application from the inspired Word . . . but, fundamentally, I think I know that it’s not about me . . . that it’s really not about my story . . . that it’s all about His story. Having said that, sometimes, there I am. It might be in a bible character’s failure (way too often it’s there) . . . or, as it was this morning, in finding myself as a recipient of amazing grace.
Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
(Isaiah 53:1 ESV)
Uh, that would be me.
Reading Isaiah 53 is truly stepping onto holy ground. Here we “behold, My servant” (52:13). We look upon Him who “had no form of majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him” (53:2b). We consider this One of God who was “despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief . . . and we esteemed Him not” (53:3). Oppressed, afflicted, like a lamb led to the slaughter . . . such was God’s precious Servant.
Why would God subject His anointed One to such humiliation? It was for our griefs and our sorrows . . . He was pierced for our transgressions . . . He was crushed for our iniquities . . . the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all . . . that, by His wounds, we might be healed . . . that, through His chastisement, we might know peace (53:4-6).
That’s Scripture’s claim concerning God’s Servant. But any claim, though it might true, has little value unless it is received as truth. And so the prophet asks, “Who has believed what they heard from us? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” And I find myself responding, “Uh, that would be me.”
And I respond that way with a sense of awe as I take no credit for any part of having believed. In fact, I was a sheep who had gone astray . . . having turned to my own way . . . relying on my own intellect . . . trusting in my own wisdom . . . in my ignorance, telling God that I would leave Him alone if He left me alone and we’d figure out heaven later. But, it was while I was yet a lost, blind, sinner, that God, in His grace, determined to introduce the light of the gospel, in the face of Jesus Christ, into my dark life. And the arm of the LORD was revealed, . . . the Righteous One, His Servant (53:11a), . . . Jesus, the Son of God. And by His patient, abundant grace, I believed what I heard.
That I would open Isaiah 53 this morning and have my soul stirred anew is a reminder of the reality of His saving work . . . evidence of His sanctifying work. That my heart would break again at the thought of His suffering for my sin . . . and yet, my spirit soar with the fresh wonder of Him redeeming me from that sin . . . is further confirmation that He who formed me for Himself, and called me to Himself, has made Himself known in such a real way.
Faith is the substance of the things hoped for (Heb. 11:6). The arm of the LORD has been revealed! Who has believed that report? Uh, that would be me.
By His grace . . . for His glory . . .