I don’t know if it was pride back in the day, or if I just hadn’t known the Lord as intimately as I do now, but either way… I’ve been ever-so aware (especially as of late) as to how much I am NOT like Christ.
Like NOT… a bazillion times over.
I can be an easily-angered hot-head, and yet His patience is “slow to anger and abounding in love” Psalm 103:8
I can be a nasty jerk who refuses to accept another’s humble apology, and yet His forgiveness spans “as far as the East is from the West” Psalm 103:12
I can be wishy-washy and shallow with my heart, and yet His love cannot be separated by “heights nor depths,” “life nor death” Romans 8:39
I can be lackadaisical in my commitments and empty in my promises, and yet His faithfulness is “unwavering” and “faithful” Hebrews 10:23
I can dream for revenge and mull over scenarios for justice, and yet His mercy “begins afresh each morning” Lamentations 3:23
Seriously friends, my sin has been ever before me.
So when I chose to tackle Isaiah 53:7, unpacking the “silence” found within this verse, I really shouldn’t have been surprised when my sin was all flashing lights and blaring horns again.
Only this time, it seemed to sting a little extra.
Isaiah 53:7 reads in the NLT version:
“He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open His mouth.”
The King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Great I AM, the Alpha and Omega, the WORD, the Creator, the wine-changer, the lame-healer, and the storm-shush’er…the HOLY WHO of our salvation… stood completely silent in the midst of His agony, in the middle of our punishment.
As the chapter details earlier:
He was despised and rejected
He was pierced
He was crushed
He was beaten
He was whipped
So we could be could be whole, so we “could be healed (v. 5).
Carrying our weaknesses and being weighed down by our sorrows, He suffered for our sins and because of our rebellion (v. 4-5).
And how did He do it?
He did it like a lamb.
Quietly and silently, he submitted to the suffering; He opened not His mouth and said not a word.
Not once did He shout, “This is unfair.” Not ever did He scream, “I’m doing it for them!” And not a single time did He berate His torturers or wield His fist at His Father.
He suffered in silence; He bled in submission; and unlike a lamb, He knew it all was coming.
And as I read the agonizing words of Isaiah 53, the words that paint a picture of my costly freedom and of my humble and heroic Rescuer, I was overwhelmed by how differently I, sometimes, choose to suffer.
I shout, I complain, and I announce my suffering to whoever will listen.
I whine, I grumble, and I became all pouty-faced at God.
I fight back, I blame away, and I tear down the “others” who have caused and inflicted the pain.
I push, I run, and I try to avoid.
I want empathy, I want pity, and I want justice and relief.
I am not silent, I am not humble, and I am certainly not submissive.
I am not a lamb.
And not only am I not a lamb, but the majority of my suffering experiences do not, have not, and probably will not… ever compare with the excruciating, shameful, and unjust suffering my Lord experienced that day on Calvary.
Not even close.
Let’s face it, I suffer like a lion.
I don’t want to submit to the suffering, believing in His sovereign hand… HEAR ME ROAR!
I don’t want to relinquish control, trusting in His perfect love… HEAR ME ROAR!
I don’t want to choose humility, having faith in His flawless plan for me… HEAR ME ROAR.
And when I think about how differently I choose to suffer than that of my Savior, I am reminded again of another GINORMO difference.
He was the perfect. spotless, sinless lamb, and I am NOT.
Hopers, I don’t know what cup of suffering you’re drinking and what cross you’ve been asked to bear up under, but I pray
you we ALL will remember the words of Isaiah 53:7 as we suffer this side of Eden and this side of Heaven. And I pray that as we suffer, we will reflect on the LAMB, noting His humble posture and remembering His submissive spirit.
For if the spotless LAMB could choose to suffer in humble silence, maybe we too, could be empowered by His Spirit to suffer less like lions.
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29