July 11, Thursday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Mark Chun (Radiance Christian Church) was originally posted on March 7, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for Today 

“The Suffering Messiah”

Psalm 22:6-8; 16-18

But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” . . . 16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—17 I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. 

This psalm has historically been described as a psalm of prophecy because there is nothing in David’s life that correlates exactly to the suffering that he describes in these verses.  More than any event in his own personal life, David seems to be writing about a future king who would bear a far greater burden and suffer through unimaginable pain. Although this was written nearly 1000 years before the crucifixion of Christ, it describes the events of the Gospel so accurately that it feels like you are at the foot of the cross. 

The idea of a suffering Savior is something that seems like foolishness to both the religious and the irreligious.  For Muslims, the idea that God would suffer at the hands of man is repulsive and offensive. For the modern skeptic, it seems irrational for God to subject his Son to such cruel torture.  There is simply no way to get around the perceived foolishness of the message of the cross, but for those who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18).

How can you experience the power of the cross at a practical level?  What steps can you take to share the Gospel to coworkers, friends, and family during this season of your life?  As you prepare for this day, think upon the wondrous cross and begin to place all your confidence there.  

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I will never truly understand the price that you paid on my behalf.  Even though the world tells me that the Gospel is foolish and outdated, help me to hold firm to my faith and have the confidence that the cross can release the power of God into my life.  Help me to trust that the wounds of Christ can bring my healing, his rejection bring my acceptance, his sorrow bring my joy, and his death bring about my life.    

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Kings 13 


Lunch Break Study

Read Isaiah 52:13 (ESV): “For thus says the Lord: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” For thus says the Lord God: “My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing.  5 Now therefore what have I here,” declares the Lord, “seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? Their rulers wail,” declares the Lord, “and continually all the day my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here I am.” How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see the return of the Lord to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people;
he has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 11 Depart, depart, go out from there; touch no unclean thing; go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves, you who bear the vessels of the Lord. 12 For you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight, for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

 Questions to Consider

  1. Who is the prophet Isaiah speaking about? (Is. 53:4-5)
  2. How will this servant be exalted?  (Is. 53:12)
  3. Who is this servant ultimately responsible for serving?  (Is. 53:11)

Unlike the modern concept of servant, the Old Testament didn’t consider the idea of being a servant to be entirely demeaning.  There is a sense that to serve someone who is important, who you have a close relationship with, is a source of true significance.   

Note

  1. It’s clear that Isaiah is prophesying about the future Messiah.  In the book of Acts, the Ethiopian eunuch was confused about who Isaiah was speaking about.  In light of the Gospel, it is evident that the descriptions of the suffering servant belong to Christ.   
  2. We see that the servant can only be exalted as he/she lives a life of obedience.  For Christ, this meant obeying the Father’s will all the way to the cross and bearing the sins of many. (Luke 22:42).  The servant of God is called to the same privilege as their Savior.
  3. Jesus is referred to as “My Servant” in this passage, suggesting that he ultimately belongs to God.  Although, he serves us by bearing our sins, this is done primarily as an act of service to the Father.  

Evening Reflection

Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of certain people that you are called to share the Gospel with?  Do you have a sense of urgency as you think about the return of Christ? Reflect on how you can live with a greater spiritual awareness.

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