The Good News

Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics

Daily Archives: 04/17/2017

Our Suffering Servant

What comes out of I Corinthians 15 causes me to look back to the ancient.  I Corinthians 15 looks back to Jesus’ life.  Isaiah 53 looked forward to the Messiah, Jesus.

As interpreted in the Message version of the Old Testament:

1  53 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?
2–6  The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him.
7–9  He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn’t true.
10  Still, it’s what God had in mind all along,
to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.
11–12  Out of that terrible travail of soul,
he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
will make many “righteous ones,”
as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
he took up the cause of all the black sheep.

 

Peter’s Restoration

Repost: see John 21.

Seven of the 11 disciples are at sea and are attempting to catch fish.  The Master comes and guides them.  A net full of fish results.  Jesus gathers them around a fire and they eat roast fish together.  

After the meal He turns to Peter and seeks to restore His friend and follower.  “Peter, do you love me more than these?”

I can imagine for Peter and arch of pain goes through his stomach. then anguish of soul, and finally release.  “Aaah, the Lord is coming for me, He still loves me?” “I will go there with Him.”  “Lord, you know I love you,” said Peter.  “I will soon be free of this plague of failure which has bound me ever since He died.”  “I know my denial sent Him there.  Maybe, now I can get past my remorse for failing Him so badly.”

The Lord ask Peter the same question again, and then again.  The Lord asks Peter the question three times.  It was three times that Peter was asked a question about his association with the Master and denied that he knew the Lord in the courtyard of the high priest’s house in response to each question.

So, what is Jesus doing here on the shore?  Jesus wants Peter.  He wants Peter to understand that even denial and betrayal is forgivable.  Jesus wants Peter to see the resurrected Jesus–the One who died for Peter’s sins and the sins of all others who come seeking forgiveness

Where would Peter have been if the Lord had not pursued him as He did at the shore?   How would His life have been different if the Lord never engaged Him directly?

I am seeing this encounter with Peter as life changing.  Peter can throw off the sin and turn from his past.  Peter will become a new man because of the Lord’s pursuit of him today.

We see the results in the remainder of the New Testament.  Peter lives to call men and women to their Savior and to guard and feed the Lord’s sheep.  Peter is a great example for us.  Though we have sinned and grieved our Lord, we can be renewed and restored.  We may hear the call to a flock of a few or of hundreds.  

We desperately need to see the Lord pursuing us as He pursued Peter.  The Lord seeks to restore us by His love and grace.  

Seek Him and you will find Him. He will find you. Know that He does pursue you.  Submerge yourself in His love.