Today’s readings ISAIAH 52 and 53
Where do we stop and focus in today’s Old Testament reading? There is so much to grip us with thankfulness and awe! – especially as we have just relived the celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Where to begin?
Isn’t it overwhelming to read in such detail the description of Christ, here on his day of crucifixion – 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 52:14). – written about 600 years before the event! But there is more! We just had to keep re reading through chapter 53 which so graphically describes the detail of Christ suffering – despised, rejected, pain, held in low esteem, punished, stricken, afflicted, pierced, crushed – all for our sin; the sin of disobedience and rejection by the human race, for, ALL we 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. v6. How can rejection and ignoring God continue with the evidence of such love?? Let’s all reread these chapters today and let the wondrous gift sink deep into our lives.
There’s more! If we go back to chapter 52 there we find in v7 how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, your God reigns.
We have the knowledge of the greatest rescue operation ever and it is beautiful to proclaim it through word and deed to those who don’t have that peace with God.
Don’t lose heart, ‘our God reigns! v7
Having been buoyed up by the Isaiah reading we were saddened by the first part of the message to the church in Laodicea. They no doubt had been caught up in the material success of their city, seeing that as significant instead of buying their treasure from Christ. v18. Leon Morris makes a startling claim when he writes ‘ to profess Christianity while remaining untouched by its fire is a disaster. There is no one further from the truth in Christ than the one who makes an idle profession without real faith’.
However Jesus does not leave his followers to flounder when tempted, or even when we are following this world’s standards because he says those whom I love I rebuke and discipline – then comes that wonderful assurance that Christ is there waiting and willing to be with the people of the Laodicean church , as he will be with us, when we open the door to him.
Are we following him wholeheartedly or could we ever be described as lukewarm?
Peter and Elizabeth