Friday, 19 September 2014
Found In Him Chapter 5: His Sacrificial Love
Did you have to pick up dirty laundry off the floor today, right next to the laundry basket it missed? Hang up towels in the bathroom? Turn your husband’s socks right side out? Eat leftovers for lunch…again…because you’re the only one in the house who will? Pack your kid’s, and then your husband’s, lunch?
Sacrificial service. Our lives are full of it as women. Sometimes big things. But more often little things, just a lot of them.
Somewhere along the line of duty, my attitude often goes sour. What started as a willing sacrifice slides down hill into a sigh, an irritation, or worse, a lecture. The martyr mom speaks:
“I hope you appreciate all the trouble I had to go to so you could have the right costume for the school play. Do you realize how many thrift stores I had to visit before I found the purple go-go boots and matching wig? Next time why don’t you just play the part of the narrator!”
He’s just like me. Or is he?
I realized not long ago that I project my own struggle to make glad sacrifices onto Jesus. I sit at the Lord’s Supper listening to the words of 1 Corinthians 11, and start to feel apologetic. “I’m sorry I caused you so much trouble Jesus. Thank you for dying for my sins. I’ll try to live up to what you’ve done for me. I promise I’ll be a good girl and not make more work for you.”
I picture him looking down at me from the cross, shaking his head with a look of reproach on his face. The kind of look I give my kids when they’ve eaten all the grapes that I’d planned to serve for dinner that night. It’s going to be hard to make it up to him.
A Sacrifice of Love
How do you respond to his sufferings for you on the cross? That’s a question we pondered today as we meditated through Isaiah 53 during our Bible study.
We saw his humiliation:
…he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men…
We read the description of his extreme suffering:
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind–
We were told that he did it for us:
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
Even though we didn’t get it, he still did it:
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
Oh, yes, he did it willingly, “like a lamb that is led to slaughter,” and he submitted perfectly to the Father’s will, “yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him.” But how did he feel about it?
If Isaiah had stopped there, at verse 9, we might be justified in assuming that he’s upset with us for causing him so much trouble. We might picture a loveless sacrifice, a joyless duty. But Isaiah continues:
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied.
What does he see?
The Joy Set Before Him
Hebrews 12:2 talks about Jesus’ attitude on the cross that helped him endure the suffering to the end:
…who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despising its shame.”
What was the joy set before him? Was it his return to glory? Was he in a hurry to leave this dirty world behind him, take a long shower, and be done with us? No, Isaiah gives us this answer:
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the Righteous One, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Sisters, we are his joy! Jesus lived the only righteous life in human history, then he died as our substitute so that he wouldn’t be the only Righteous One, but would have many, many righteous brothers and sisters to share eternity with. You and I are his prize.
His soul is satisfied with you.
Here were some of our light bulb moments:
- Look at how he loved his disciples the night before he died! I’ve never seen this before.
- I always pray to get out of suffering. He prayed “Thy will be done.” What love!
- We may not understand each other, but Jesus does!
- I can’t believe it. I am his reward! Unfathomable.
Look up at the cross and meet his gaze. He has nothing but love for you.