The Bare Soul - February 10, 2013
Anguish to Joy

Isaiah 53:11 - As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.

The birth of children is something truly remarkable to behold. I was privileged to watch the birth of all three of my natural children. Of course, childbirth for the father is much different than the suffering of the mother. I often reflect on this when I think how Jesus brought back the human race from spiritual death. Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection acted much like the womb of new birth as the Holy Spirit came along side as the mid-wife, ensuring success. The Father looked on, as many sons and daughters were restored to Him on that day. What a glorious moment it had to be! If only we could have heard the rejoicing in heaven when Jesus said, "It is finished" and later when the stone was rolled away. The joy of the Father was certainly inexpressible in our human capacity to understand it.

In his great wisdom given by God, Solomon states in Ecclesiastes 7:8 how "The end of a matter is better than its beginning." How Jesus must have known and believed this as He prepared for His death. We know from the word of God that Jesus was certainly concerned about His upcoming demise. Some have speculated a variety of reasons for his angst regarding His crucifixion. Regardless the reason, we know He did not sin, but kept entrusting Himself to the One who would deliver Him (I Peter 2:23). As John relates the words of Jesus: “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour" (John 12:27). The hope of mankind's deliverance was the great motivator that revealed Christ's perfect love for humanity.

Isaiah tells us in our lead verse that "He will see it." I believe this is speaking about the Father when He witnessed His Son dying on the cross. He looked at the spilt blood of His Son and surely wept as sin's penalty was satisfied! However, with his weeping there was a joy breaking forth that no sadness could overwhelm. Isaiah 53:10 tells us Christ will see His offspring by offering Himself as a "guilt offering." Likewise, He would find satisfaction knowing He had brought many sons and daughters back to His Father through the "anguish of His soul." The pain the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit incurred to save us was incalculable. Conversely, as already mentioned, the joy likewise was indescribable regarding our deliverance.  Jesus prophetically tells His disciples in John 16:21 that  "Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world."

Joy is often the direct outcome of pain. Our great gains in Christ are often recognized through His extraordinary loss. When we begin to really understand what it cost the Godhead to bring about our salvation, it should first pain us remarkably. However, if it is truly a God-given revelation, it should then give us joy inexpressible regarding what He has done. Are we walking in great joy today, beloved? If not, possibly we do not truly understand His great anguish which lead to His great joy. Ask God for this understanding. Cry out to Him that He would reveal the cost of Calvary. When we truly understand it, we will likewise know His anguish but also His great joy in bringing many sons and daughters to salvation.

Heavenly Father, may you grant us all wisdom to know what the cross of Christ cost. May we enter into the fellowship of Your sufferings that we might attain to the resurrection of the dead according to Your servant, Paul (Philippians 3:10-11). Show us Your heart, Lord, and Your great love for us. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

 

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