Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:1-3 (ESV)
Lord Jesus, Isaiah’s words rip at our hearts this morning. By your crushing, we’re now cherished; by your exile on the cross, we have citizenship in God’s heart; by your consummate wounding, we’re becoming completely healthy; by your cruel death, we live forevermore. You, who never sinned, became sin for us, that in you, we might be declared righteous in the sight of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
It’s precisely because of your great love for us that we’re deeply convicted this morning. We can’t ignore Isaiah’s words, “and we esteemed him not.” The riches of your grace move us to grieve the poverty of our unbelief and lack of love for you.
The truth is, every time we sin, we esteem ourselves more than we esteem you. There’s simply no greater indictment against us than a lack of esteem for you, Lord Jesus. Forgive and free us.
You made us for yourself, and our hearts remain restless till they rest in you; yet we seek peace in other places, stories, and things. You redeemed us for yourself and you desire us as no one else ever could, yet we still look over your shoulder for other loves and lovers. You’re coming back for us, with the passion of a Bridegroom for his new Bride; yet we remain drawn to lesser stories, smaller dreams, and empty nothings.
By your grace and the power of your resurrection, refresh, renew and intensify our love for you, Jesus. We want to esteem you above everything and everyone. You’ll never love us more than you do in this very moment, but we want to love you much more. So very Amen we pray, in your compassionate and all-worthy name.