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After all the wonderful, marvelous, amazing things that Isaiah saw would happen when the Shining Rescuer arrived — the baby plant, a changed world, the mountain, the king, the runner, the road, the champion, and the shepherd and His lambs — after all that, Isaiah saw ahead to something that shocked him!
He saw ahead of time that when the Shining Rescuer would come, people would MISS HIM! They wouldn’t even recognize it was Him!
Oh no… Oh no, oh no!
“Who would’ve believed it? When did we see the Lord’s power in Him? He sprouted up like a twig, like a root out of dried-up dirt; Nothing about Him looked like royalty; Nothing about Him looked like a King. Nothing about Him caught our attention. Nothing about the way He looked made us think we should follow Him.”
“He was hated and rejected by people. He was a person of pain and familiar with sadness; People hid their faces from Him; He was hated, and we thought He was not important.”
What if someone told you the best and most beautiful thing in the whole world was going to pass by in front of you? And what if someone even told you that most people would miss the most beautiful thing in the world when it comes?
Do you think you would watch, watch, watch for it or do you think you would be one of the ones to miss it?
Well, I sure hope you’d be one watch, watch, watching for it. But later in this story you’ll find out that when God’s Shining Rescuer comes, most people miss Him. They don’t even recognize it’s Him, even though Isaiah warned them way beforehand.
Why? How could this happen?! Like you, probably most people thought they would never miss it, but they STILL missed it. Because that’s exactly what happens when we get distracted by being self-absorbed, self-seeking, self-happy, self-pleasing, self-important, self-aware, self-fulfilled, or self-anything. We forget what we are really looking for in life if we have a bunch of self-stuff on our minds and in our hearts.
Have you ever been so distracted with some toy or game that you missed something really important going on around you?
Maybe you missed it because you were so focused on your toy that you didn’t even notice.
Or maybe you kind of noticed but didn’t want to put your toy down and pay attention.
Or have you ever thought you were “smart enough” to figure something out or make something happen by yourself? So you didn’t really depend on God or ask Him about it?
Well, any of those self-thinking things will make you miss Him. If you are so self-absorbed, self-serving, self-satisfied, or self-involved… Or if you think you are self-smart, self-able, self-reliant, self-determined, self-taught, or self-sufficient…
Then you WILL be one to miss it. Because self-anything makes it impossible to really See God.
But we don’t ever have to miss God! It just takes squishing, squashing, and squelching all that rotten self-life every day. So make the choices every day to say “no” to those self-things and “yes!” to God.
Isaiah continued to describe what he saw coming:
“The One coming picked up our sicknesses, He carried our pain for us; even though we thought He was being punished by God for something He’d done, that wasn’t what was happening!
“He was hurt because of our rebellion, He was crushed because of our crimes against God; He suffered through punishment that made us all better; because of His terrible owies, we have been healed.
“All of us have wandered off like sheep; each of us has strayed off on his own path, but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack Him.
“He was treated cruelly and was hurt badly, but He didn’t even say anything. Like a lamb led to be killed, like a sheep is silent before its shearers, He didn’t even open His mouth. He was led away after an unfair trial — but who even cared? No one.
“He was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of His own people, He was hurt so badly.”
Isaiah saw this Perfect Person — the One God would send to Help, the One everyone was waiting for — would be punished for our crimes against God.
Healing for us would come through every painful owie on Him. Every wound on His body would heal us.
“But in the end, He will see He has a Family. God will get His Big Plan done through Him. And after He’s suffered, He will look back on His work, and He will be satisfied when He understands what all He has done.
“He will free many because He took their sins on Himself. And Ohhh! He’s got a reward coming because He willingly submitted to dying, and was counted as one of us bad guys or girls. He took the sin of many and stepped in, taking all our punishment.”
The Shining one coming would take our punishment for us. Can you stop and imagine it? Wow. That’s a big deal, isn’t it?
Yeah. It is.