Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering. Isa. 53:1-4 (NIV)
Dear Lord Jesus, your manger was a veritable garden of grace, for there the Father very planted you as the tender shoot of Isaiah’s vision. Hallelujah, you are root of life that has broken through the dry ground of our fallen world and hearts.
I am truly in awe, this morning, at the sacrificial tenderness of your incarnation. You created beauty, yet you became the one with “no beauty,” for us. You took the vileness and ugliness of my sin, that I might become pure and beautiful in you. O holy merciful mystery. Though you have always enjoyed the delight of the Godhead, you became the despised one—the rejected one for us, for me. What wondrous love is this, indeed?
You—the fountain of pleasures, whose laughter fills heaven, whose joy is our strength; you became the man of suffering and sorrows for us—for me. And though you didn’t remain a “tender shoot,” you have retained all tenderness. In taking up your cross, you took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows; you bore our guilt and exhausted our judgment—once and for all. What a wonderful, merciful, tender Savior you are.
O to esteem and love you, as you deserve, Lord Jesus. May your tenderness grow in my heart and be real to my family. So very Amen I pray, in your beautiful and grace-full name.