To Follow Jesus
My (Shayne McCusker) notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
November/December 2014 Issue – ‘Bringing down giants’
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Isaiah 53:1-12 (NIV-UK): “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
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.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For 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. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
A remarkable set of verses – don’t you agree?
Selwyn starts today’s study with: “It may seem strange and a little disconcerting that I should choose to discuss the subject of self-pity in the days that surround Christmas. Well , it’s because Christmas is not a time of festivity and fun for everyone.”
As the above verses, testify, that; Jesus took upon Himself the pain and sin of this world to save you and me; no matter how badly we feel, the distress of Jesus on the cross was far greater. And, this truth should shine through the darkness of our self-pity, and lead us towards a brighter day.
As Selwyn says in his conclusion: “All Jesus asks is that you acknowledge your need of Him and He will be there to help you and sustain you. Come to Him in prayer now and ask for His help.”
I think the problem with a number of people who are drowning in their own self-pity, is that they don’t love Jesus enough to fully trust in His power and love for them. All, I can say, is to read the above verses slowly and contemplate the cross and what it means. Perhaps it would be worthwhile if you meditate on what it would have meant, if the first Christmas had never happened.