10 Days - Isaiah 53:1-3
"Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. 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." Isaiah 53:1-3
When we speak of Christmas and we speak of Jesus's birth, some words may come to your mind: cheer, hope, love. But sometimes we forget, when Jesus lived and walked on this Earth, many did not greet Him with cheer, neither did many see Him as hope, nor did they love Him. Jesus's time on this earth was not easy or simple. It was not rainbows and butterflies. He endured much suffering, being the ultimate sacrifice for us, so that we may not have to bear the eternal suffering of hell. Jesus was despised, rejected, and at times, sorrowful, and filled with grief. And He still is despised and rejected by many to this day.
I have been doing something lately where I ask Jesus for His heart. It is a beautiful prayer to be answered because then you are given immense joy when you see a baby smile, peace beyond understanding in worship, hope beyond belief when circumstances don't seem promising. But on the other hand, there is much sadness. Grief when those reject His name, sorrow when a friend is going through hardship, sobbing when someone has lost joy. There is an insane degree of empathy for all you encounter and it's a beautiful reminder that Jesus loves us on a level we cannot comprehend. But rarely anyone bestowed this love on Him.
In fact, this is what Isaiah 53 is saying: Jesus was not an attractive man. There was no comeliness (definition: Beauty. The qualities that give pleasure to the senses.) Who should believe the report that God in human form who is our salvation gives no desire to our eyes? That we should even despise Him and He shall be a man full of sorrow and grief? When I think of Jesus, I think of a rather handsome, smiling man. One who brings joy to all who see Him. But if you flip the pages back to Isaiah 52, it explains what Jesus would look like:
"See, my servant will act wisely he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him— his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—" Isaiah 52:13-14
And because of this and Jesus's claim that He is the Messiah, many would come to reject Him. Not only when he was walking on earth, but continuously, throughout the ages. Let's check out the fulfillment of this in the New Testament:
"All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff." (Luke 4:28–29)
What a great life of humility. That God in human form would come as a lowly servant, born to a poor family, laying in a manger, having no physical qualities that one should desire. A man, at times, completely disregarded, to save you, to save me, and to save all that should come to believe in Him.
"This means that when we try to attract people to Jesus through form or comeliness, or beauty, we are using methods that run counter to the nature of Jesus. “These days it appears that we must dress up the gospel to make it attractive. We have to use the methods of technique which must be smart, well-presented, streamlined. There must be something about the presentation of the gospel that will appeal to people… to what is called ‘the modern mind.’ I wonder if we stop to think that in our efforts to make the gospel message ‘attractive’ we are drawing a curtain across the face of Jesus in His humiliation? The only one who can make Him attractive is the Holy Spirit.” (Redpath)
How do you picture Jesus?
How do you think this world tries to "dress up" the Gospel? Do you think it's helpful or detrimental? Why?
Do you feel like you have be beautiful to do God's work efficiently? If so, where do you think you learned that frame of thought?
Write a prayer to God, thanking Him for the true beauty that is found within you because of He who lives in you.