Holy Week | 4.2.12
Throughout their history, the children of Israel have been a people perpetually in need of deliverance. Whether the captor was a hard-hearted Pharaoh or a controlling Roman government, scripture is full of instances where the people cried out to God for a Rescuer. Palestine, in the day of Jesus, was one such instance. The Jews were subservient to a harsh and oppressive political system. They were hostages in need of rescuing, but when Rescue came, they didn’t recognize it. They misunderstood what they were to be rescued from and for.
Isaiah 42:1-9 is a beautiful foreshadow of that first Lent season leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection. Christ came on an under-cover rescue mission—God incarnate guised in the frailty of human form. This Messiah defied every expectation. Israel expected an earthly king who would overthrow the Romans and establish a Jewish state. They were looking for military prowess that would start a revolution in the streets and bring judgment upon their enemies. Isaiah says they were met instead with a quiet and gentle servant who indeed came to bring justice, but not as they supposed. He captured hearts instead of earthly kingdoms, and that not by force, for “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”
In their cry for justice, they were asking for deliverance from the oppression around them. He brought Deliverance from themselves, from their own sinful nature. In their demand for justice, they had become blind to their own guilt. As the Jews commemorated the Passover feast and remembered the blood of the sacrificial lamb by which their forefathers had been spared, the Lamb of God hung on a cross, that by the spilling of His blood the ransom might be paid and the hostages set free. It was the greatest hostage exchange of all time. Redemption and forgiveness are not free, but we’re not the ones who paid for them.
During this season of Lent, may we remember the price that was paid for our rescue. May we take up our lives and spend them in a manner reflective of the Ransom given in exchange for them.
Junior, Nursing and International Missions Double-Major
You can download the full Lent and Holy Week Devotional Guide at: http://www.belmont.edu/religion/files/lent-devotional-2012-final.pdf