CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
March 5, 2023
Who Is Jesus? – Part 2
As we continue to look at Who is Jesus we saw from what we read in Isaiah and in Luke last Sunday that Jesus was not born into a prestigious family. Jesus apparently was just an average man in most every way, at least in the eyes of most people. God wanted to make sure the message that Jesus was sharing with those who would listen and observe is what drew people to himself and to God the Father.
This week we see the mission given Jesus was and how it was predicted most people would react to it. Jesus primary mission was to take God’s message of repentance and the opportunity of forgiveness to the Jewish people. Jesus told his disciples In Matthew 10 verse5 not to go to the Gentiles or Samaritans but only to the lost sheep of Israel. Jesus himself told a Canaanite woman that he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel in Matthew 15:24. So we see Jesus’ primary mission during his ministry was to the Jewish people. Yet we see the prediction in Isaiah 53:3 that Jesus would be despised and rejected by the people Jesus sought to help find salvation and forgiveness. In spite of the rejection that came his way, Jesus willingly took those sins, the suffering of the self-righteous. As well as all the wounds we feel in life. Isaiah 53:4.
In spite of all that, he would ultimately bring peace and healing to a world that is and was in desperate need. I will not site all the examples but time and time again the Jewish leaders challenged the message Jesus was sharing. One such example is in Matthew 22 the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus about who to give money to. Was it right to give money to the ungodly Romans by paying taxes? This was one of countless ways the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus and make sure the average Jewish person would not pay attention to him. The different examples that are throughout the gospels clearly shows that most of the Jewish leadership did just what is written of in Isaiah 53.
Jesus was rejected, smitten, afflicted, crushed and ultimately pierced for our transgressions, our sins. In spite of all the rejection Jesus never waivered from is mission. In Isaiah 53: 6 we see it is predicted in spite of Jesus’ message hope and salvation we would be like sheep that have gone astray/ Peter (in 1 Peter 2:23-25) quotes these verses when talking about what Jesus went through for us. In spite of the willingness to take our place and all Jesus went through for us, the insults, the rejection, our sinfulness, our willingness to be like sheep that are lead astray Jesus took all of that because of his love for each of us. The amazing thing that is also said in these verses we read this morning is that all these things that happened to the Messiah would be placed on him by God the Father. That seems to be shown to be true by what Jesus cried out as he hung on the cross. In Matthew 27 verse 46 we see Jesus saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” God the Father and God the Son willing did all these things and had all these things happen just as predicted in Isaiah to bring forgiveness and salvation to a world that often times would and does reject God’s offer of grace. Let me repeat it again. All these things that ultimately happened were predicted in Isaiah 700 years before they happened exactly as predicted.
As we continue to look at what was foretold in Isaiah about how God would bring salvation to all who will receive, we will continue to see how what was spoke of by Isaiah happened. Next week we will see exactly to what lengths God was willing to go to bring salvation to the world.
As we get closer to Easter and the most life changing events that happened in the world, may each one of us take time to search within ourselves to better understand our own relationship with the Lord. It has been said before that each one of us individually is responsible and accountable for what we believe and why we believe it. Isaiah made it clear in spite of God’s attempt to bring salvation to the world not everyone will accept it. Some will violently reject God’s hand of mercy and forgiveness. God wants a deep personal relationship with each one of us. I pray our look at who Jesus is will help us deepen that relationship. As we see how trustworthy the world of God is and we are reminded that God went through all we will ever go through and more because he loves us that much.