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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who do you think this is talking about?

The Bible I am using today is the "New Living Translation".  This might sound strange to some of you, but the Lord got me up one night about 2 o'clock in the morning and gave me these verses.  And I find myself reading them over and over.  It is only 12 verses, but they mean a lot.  I will let you know where to find them at the end of the verses.  But first I want you to think about these verses as you read them and then tell me who you think they are talking about. 

Who has believed our message?  To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power?
 My servant grew up in the Lord's presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground.  There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.  He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with the bitterest of grief.  We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by.  He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried, it was our sorrows that weighted him down.  And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins!  But he was wounded and crushed for our sins.  He was beaten that we might have peace.  He was whipped, and we were healed!  All of us have strayed away like sheep.  We have left God's paths to follow our own.  Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of all of us.

He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.  He was led as a lamb to the slaughter.  And as a sheep who is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.  From prison and trial they led him away to his death.  But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins, that he was suffering their punishment?  He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone.  But he was buried like a criminal, he was put in a rich man's grave.

But it was the Lord's plan to crush him and fill him with grief.  Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have multitude of children, many heirs.  He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord's plan will prosper in his hands.  When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.  And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.  I will give him the honors of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death.  He was counted among those who were sinners.  He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners.

Now who would you say these verses are taking about?  I believe it is Jesus.  There are those who say that Jesus is not in the Old Testament.  That he is only in the New Testament.  But this prophecy is in the Old Testament.  It is Isaiah 53.  And it is the whole chapter of Isaiah 53 which is only 12 verses.  But what a lot these 12 verses are saying!