Holy Week, Day 2
Begin with 2 minutes of silence
Scripture : Isaiah 50:4-9a
4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. 6 I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.
7 But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me?Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me.
9 Behold, the Lord God helps me; who will declare me guilty?Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
Devotional : Awakened by God
By Pastor Jamie Pagels
In the day’s leading up to his death, I imagine that Jesus had this very passage from Isaiah running through his mind. Isaiah has been called the fifth gospel, and it’s clear that it was an important book both theologically and personally to Jesus. This, like many passages from the book of Isaiah, not only speaks of what the Messiah would be like, but clearly formed Jesus’ faith and actions.
Though it never explicitly uses the word ‘servant,’ this ancient song nevertheless clearly describes a servant utterly set, flint-faced (v.7) on accomplishing his Masters task no matter how violent the opposition he faces (v.6).
How was this servant able to be faithful to the Master in the face of beatings and disgrace at the hands of violent opposition? How was Jesus able to walk the road of Holy Week? The text gives us two great clues: First, morning by morning -day by day - God faithfully awakens the ears of the servant to clearly hear His voice (v. 4). In Hebrew the words ‘hear’ and ‘obey’ are almost synonymous - you haven’t heard unless you have obeyed. Because the servant meets with God each and every day, God’s voice and presence are so real and close that the very idea of turning backward, of rebelling against God’s will is unthinkable!
“As we make a space in our lives for looking at God, we will experience all manner of comfort and happiness.” Julian of Norwich, c.1373
However, it is not just a disembodied voice and cosmic will that enables the Servant to endure beatings, having his beard pulled out and being spit upon. The secret sauce, the silver bullet that enables such endurance is the servants deep confidence and hope in the power of God to ultimately triumph over all (V. 7-9). The servants daily times with God have taught him of the power and love of God that none could contend with. He has learned that when others despise him because of God, he will never be the subject of shame and will never be totally overcome. He is confident in the face of pain and suffering because he knows that in the end - Love wins, and everything that stands in the way of God’s love will be eaten away as a moth eats dusty, old, clothes.
Question to Consider
What rhythm do you need to set to make space in your life for ‘looking at God’ and experiencing His love and comfort? What gets in the way of ‘daily’ being awake to God’s loving presence?
Jesus, I may not have been so consistent in my relationship with you as to say that Morning by Morning I meet with you. I am in need of an awakening. I need a new revelation of your love and power that shakes me from my spiritual slumber and empowers me to live wide awake to your presence with me and purpose for me. Give me grace to follow all the way to the Cross, just as you obediently and confidently followed your Heavenly Father’s leading. Amen.
Close with two minutes of silence