Tag Archives: Yeshua’s sacrifice

Isaiah 53

Scripture: from verse 9

…He had done no violence, and there was no deceit in His mouth.

Observation:  This chapter is a very famous prophecy of Yeshua’s death and our redemption – so famous that I didn’t really want to cover it.  But this verse struck me.

I’ve been annoyed lately.  Not about anything especially dramatic, but annoyed.  And it makes it clear how un-docile I am.  There are too many times that I want to slap someone, or shake someone, or yell at them.  I use far too much hyperbole in my thoughts.  No one I know truly resembles Lady Catherine de Bourgh, or the Spanish Inquisition, or any of the other things I am tempted to compare them to.

Hyperbole isn’t always deceitful, of course, but I think it can be when it is used to wound or shock.  And while I may not be acting on my impulses, I can’t deny that they are there.

Thankfully, in God’s eyes I have taken on the identity of Yeshua.  And there was no violence in Him, and no deceit.  He has given me a new spirit, which is free of annoyance and anger and even hyperbole.  I don’t really know how to walk in that yet, but at least I know I’m forgiven.

Application:  Watch your thoughts.  Thank God you’re forgiven.

Prayer:  Yeshua, I praise you because there was no violence and no deceit in you.  I praise you because you were able to love these people, even when they frustrated me.  Thank you for forgiving them and for forgiving me.  Help me to see them like you do.  Amen.

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Isaiah 14:1-17

Scripture: from verse 10

Now you are as weak as we are,
you have become like us!

Observation:  This is part of a taunt-song aimed at the king of Babylon after he is fallen, though traditionally the song (at least parts of it) are thought to be speaking of Satan himself.  In any case, this verse is the greeting of the other dead leaders he had conquered.  No matter how much any given tyrant or destroyer has accomplished, in death he is weak and powerless.

Which is really cool because it was only an hour ago that I was doing a new little resurrection celebration with my family.  The thing that sets God apart from the rest of creation is that after death, He came back to life.  He was not weak and powerless.  And He shares that with us.

Death does not leave us dead.  Not anymore.

1 Corinthians 15 says that if Yeshua had not risen from the dead, we would have no hope.  And that’s true.  We can sing this taunt over the enemies that God has defeated (which incidentally seems a little childish to me, but I’m not going to worry about that), and they can’t sing it back at us.  Because we will never be as weak as they are in death.

Yeshua came that we could have life and life abundantly. (John 10:10)

Application:  Have hope.  He is risen.

Prayer:  Yeshua, I praise you because you conquered death.  Not just for yourself, as Orpheus and Frigg attempted (for Euridyce and Baldr respectively), but for me and my family and everyone who accepts it.  Thank you for creating that final victory.  Amen.

Colossians 2:11-15

Scripture: verse 15

[He stripped] the rulers and authorities of their power… triumphing over them by means of the stake

Observation:  I grew up with undiagnosed selective mutism, a form of social anxiety where the speech centers of my brain would shut down and I would become mute when I got anxious – especially if I was expected to explain or defend myself.  This tended to be a problem, as I’m sure you can imagine.

So when I hear about being slaves to sin and prisoners of darkness, that’s what I think of.  The paralyzing fear that made it impossible to think, but was so all-encompassing that I was in college before we realized something was wrong.

And that’s what Yeshua broke.  He stripped that anxiety of its authority over me.  The fear that I wasn’t good enough and would never measure up is overcome by the truth that I am His now, and He is good enough and He measures up.  He’s the only one allowed to judge me now, and He says I’m perfect.

I am free now.  I haven’t been mute since God miraculously broke the selective mutism about six months after I got married.  I do still have some social anxiety, but it doesn’t imprison me like it used to.  Yeshua died to wash away its power.

Application:  Seek freedom.  The things that bind you have no power anymore.

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you for freeing me.  Thank you for making me a daughter instead of a slave.  Help me to turn over to you the things that still hold me back.  Amen.

Colossians 1:21-25

Scripture: from verse 25

Yes, I [Paul] am completing in my own flesh what has been lacking of the Messiah’s afflictions, on behalf of his Body, the Messianic Community.

Observation:  This doesn’t make any sense.  I mean, it does – he’s saying that he is continuing Messiah’s sacrifice to further God’s goal of restoring harmony between humans and God.  The problem is that that’s impossible.

Nothing was lacking in Yeshua’s afflictions.  He finished it.  He paid the debt for us, completely and in full.

But I guess, if we are joined with Messiah in doing His work, and joined with Him in His suffering in the form of whatever persecution or deprivation or sacrifice God calls us to, then we are helping complete what Messiah has already done.  He did the work.  We’re helping.

Perhaps it makes more sense if I remember that, from God’s point of view, we’re only children.  If I comb my daughter’s hair, and then she combs her own hair, I did the work and she helped.  Admittedly I usually need to give it a quick re-comb before inserting the barrette, but that’s okay.  Because she needs to try doing it herself.

I don’t know how it works.  I don’t know how we could be contributing anything meaningful to Yeshua’s work and sacrifice.  But apparently we can.  Because He lets us help.

Application:  What you do has value.  God has a plan and a calling and a purpose for everything He has you do, even if it seems meaningless and random.

Prayer:  Yeshua, I don’t get this one.  I don’t even know whether to be comforted or humbled or inspired to greater effort.  But I know you have a plan for it.  I know you have a plan for me.  Please help me follow it.  Thank you for helping me grow and letting me help.  Amen.

Leviticus 1:1-9

Scripture: verse 4

He is to lay his hand upon the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.

Observation: This passage describes the process for bringing a burnt offering (a sheep or a bull) for sin.  What struck me here is how personal this is.  The man can’t send the sheep with a messenger.  He can’t have his secretary do it, or contribute to a fund.  He has to bring it himself.

“The fault is mine and so must the remedy be,” as Mr. Darcy put it. This is a public confession of that he is a sinner.  Not that sin exists in general terms, or that society is rotten, or that mistakes have been made but no one is really to blame.  He has to put his hand on the sheep and admit that he, himself, is a sinner.

And in doing so, the blame is erased and he is forgiven.  Because he came himself.

Application: Admit your own sins.  Not just that bad things happen or mistakes get made, but that you, personally, have done wrong things.  In our case, the sacrifice has already been made.  But we need to acknowledge that it was made for us.

Prayer: Father, I am a sinner.  I have done plenty of wrong things.  Thank you for providing the sacrifice to wipe my guilt away.  Amen.

Ephesians 2:11-15

Scripture: from verse 15

[Yeshua destroyed] in His own body the enmity occasioned by the Torah, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances.

Observation:  I’m actually not certain what all this means, but I love the phrasing.

Obviously it’s a reference to His death and resurrection.  By His death, He conquered sin and reunited humans with God.  So far so good.

But.  Enmity in His body.  He saw all the tension, all the estrangement, all the sin that humans were (and are) swimming in.  He absorbed it all into Himself.  And then He died, so that the enmity died with Him.

I think it’s that image of Yeshua as a sponge that sticks out to me.  Drawing our pain and sin and confusion into Himself.  Soaking it up, so it’s all in one place and He can kill it.  Leaving us clean.

I don’t have analogies for this.  I can think of partial, distant parallels – Harry Potter comes to mind, and I read once that C. S. Lewis prayed to take his wife’s sickness into his own body, and so on – but nothing that actually fits.

[Later: There’s two parts to this: absorbing our filth, and dying.  Plenty of people have sacrificed their lives or their dignity for those they love, but it’s rare to see someone deliberately sacrificing both.  I think it’s the indignity of the act that strikes me, as much as the death.]

He drank the poison out of our veins so he could burn it away in Himself.  Nothing compares.

Application:  Wow.  Yeah, I got nothing.

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you for doing this.  Thank you for absorbing all my sin, all my pain – and not throwing it away for someone else to deal with, but dying yourself so it is gone entirely.  That’s amazing.  Thank you.