Hello again, and thank you for taking a few minutes out of our day to check out today’s lesson on rejection. Yesterday, we looked at the subject of rejection from the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. Today, I want to share some passages with you that further define their rejection.
Our text for today comes from the book of Isaiah, Chapter 53:1-12
“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment, he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people, he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge, my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Who is the prophet Isaiah describing? The Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Let’s dive deeper.
What we see here is Israel speaking from the perspective of finally understanding the identity of the Servant after many years of rejection.
It’s interesting that Israel lays out three reasons for failing to recognize the Messiah in the past.
Isaiah 53:1-3: Reason #1
Israel states that the Servant was too plain to be the Messiah and he wasn’t what they anticipated. He did not meet their expectations of a Deliverer. His appearance was ordinary and unimpressive. No one had reason to be attracted to him.
Isaiah 53:4-6: Reason #2
Israel states that He was punished for His own sin. God punished him. However, they soon come to realize that he was punished for their sin. It was their sin he bore on the cross, not his own sin.
Isaiah 53:7-9: Reason #3
Israel states he was too passive to be innocent. He didn’t open his mouth to defend himself. This was seen as guilt and passivity. He didn’t defend himself because he knew his suffering was coming upon him to fulfill God’s purpose. Not reacting allowed him to control his destiny.
Fast forward hundreds of years to 33 A.D. in the Garden of Gethsemane. There Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Jesus was arrested and went through six trials before finally being handed over to the Romans to be crucified.
His own stood there and hurled insults and shouted, “Crucify him, crucify him!” And as He hung on the cross, the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders mocked him. (Matt 27:41)
Rejected because he didn’t look a certain way, act a certain way, or respond in a certain way. They rejected Jesus from the time he stepped onto the scene.
Jesus fulfilled the prophecy from the book of Isaiah in multiple ways which we will look at tomorrow.
There’s an old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s sad the religious leaders missed a golden opportunity to learn from the one prophesied about for hundreds of years.
Jesus is calling today. Come home. All who are weary, come home. Don’t reject him any longer. He is waiting!
Bridge to Grace – a nonfiction novel