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Preparing for Good Friday & Easter - Part 2: The Suffering Servant



During Sunday’s worship services, we started a series of “Shadow Readings” to help us prepare for Jesus’ death and resurrection.  If you missed Sunday’s reading or would like to reflect on it further, we are publishing the readings on Friedens’ blog each week. 

 

Down through the centuries, God was preparing to send the Messiah into the world.  He dropped many hints about the Messiah, including that He would enter the world as a baby, that He would be a great king, and also that He would suffer and die.

 

Isaiah 53 contains one of these hints.  The prophet Isaiah said of the Messiah: “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, 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. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.”

 

This was written 700 years before Jesus was born, yet it told of the suffering He would endure in payment for sin.  This is why Jesus is called “The Suffering Servant.”

 

Today, we extinguish a candle to represent the shadow that was hanging over Jesus’ life – from the very first sin in the Garden of Eden, through the Old Testament prophecies, and all the way to His death.

 

Let’s pray.  Lord Jesus, We praise you because you are the perfect, spotless lamb who took the punishment we deserve.  Please fill us with gratitude for all you have done.  In view of your mercy, may we offer our lives to you as a worship offering.  As we come to this time of giving back to you from our financial resources, we acknowledge that every blessing comes from you.  As we give, help us trust you.  We pray you will work through the ministries and missionaries of Friedens Church to help more people experience peace and life through Jesus.  Thank you that we can trust you in all things.  Amen.

 

 

 

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