Isaiah begins this famous chapter with the question: “Who has believed our report?”  He goes on to say that this Servant who comes has “not stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.”  The majesty of God outstrips our feeble minds as we try to understand how a Holy God would send His Son to be “bruised for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities.”  We might have expected someone sent from God in royalty or with military might and political power.  We might have hoped that the sins which have ruined our lives might have been excused and forgotten.

What a surprise then for our hope to come in a baby.  Gentle, helpless, and unknown, Jesus came into the world with a message of hope and a mission of forgiveness both of which were brought to us through His suffering, death resurrection.  To understand this we turn tonight to this chapter in Isaiah to learn what exactly it takes for God to love us completely, forgive us eternally, and restore fully.  It takes nothing less than a sacrifice, not in symbol, but in the reality of the cross.  History records the agony that the prophet Isaiah predicted the Servant would undergo for our sins.

Sometimes it is easy to avoid the cross because in it we view God’s judgment on our lives.  We might minimize sin and transgressions but God will not.  We are accountable for each one  we commit and we are condemned until we trust Jesus-the Servant/Savior-to forgive them and cleanse us.  Isaiah does not hold back in showing the effect our sins have on the Servant.  He is bruised, crushed, oppressed with our griefs, sorrow, shame and guilt.  But He did it because He loves the Father and He loves us.

Tonight before we worship tomorrow, light the candle of Hope thanking the Father for sending Jesus.  And that the Lord for His loving sacrifice that saves us from our sin.