I am sure that most of us are pretty good at whining and complaining about how tough our problems are. Just for starters in this discussion, let’s remember what Paul tells us in Philippians: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain” (Phil. 2:14-16). So, “you got it tough?” (pardon the poor grammar) Let’s think for just a minute about Jesus Christ and what He willingly endured so that you and I could have our sins forgiven.
Isaiah 50:4-11 is the portion of Scripture we commonly call “The Third Servant Song.” The Servant Songs are four units of prophecy in Isaiah that speak about the coming Messiah using the word “servant” (Isa. 42:1-9; 49:1-13; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12). By the Spirit of Christ, Isaiah prophesied about horror of the Servant’s suffering. Here in chapter 50 we read, “The Lord GOD has opened My ear, and I was not disobedient nor did I turn back. I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting” (vv. 5-6). From the gospels we know that the Jews heaped horrible humiliation and physical abuse upon Jesus as they sought to condemn Him. From the gospels we also know that the Romans gave Him merciless scourings that left his body in bloody shreds. From the gospels we know that the Jewish crowds stood around the crucified Savior heaping mockery and scorn upon Jesus, not realizing that He Himself was bearing the wrath of God that they themselves deserved. Isaiah 53 reminds us, “as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? (Isa. 53:8). Here is the truth: Jesus took upon Himself the punishment that we ourselves deserve. From the gospels we read that for three hours during the middle of that April morning the entire sky went dark as the Father poured His wrath out upon His beloved Son. With this outpouring of wrath, Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? (Matt. 27:45-46). The answer is that Jesus was bearing our guilt just as Isaiah prophesied (Isa. 53:10).
So, you think you got it tough? Just remember that if your sins are forgiven because you have trusted in Jesus Christ, you will never have to experience the horror that Jesus Christ willingly took upon Himself when He died on the cross to save you. How should this truth change us? Let me just point you back to Philippians 2:14-16 above. Let’s learn to take our eyes off of ourselves and stop being the whining babies that we sometimes act like.
Love, Pastor Tim