Saturday, December 16
Born to Suffer, Serve, and to save
Scripture Reading: Mathew 20:28; Luke 22:20; Isaiah 52:13-53:12
As we reflect on and celebrate Christ’s coming on this side of the cross, it is helpful to remember that Israel was expectantly longing for the Messiah to come, not knowing when he might appear. They were watching, waiting, for a man of royal birth with prestige, position, and power. What they didn’t expect was a Christ born in humble conditions, to common parents, growing up to work as a carpenter. They expected a popular king, not a suffering servant, to save them.
These words resonate with me as I write them. I think that if some two thousand years ago I was looking for the Messiah, I wouldn’t start that search in a manger. It seems illogical to us that the Savior of the world would come to suffer and to serve us. That is counter to everything the world tells us to look for in a savior.
However, those are the words God spoke through the prophet Isaiah. The servant coming to save would not have an “impressive form...no appearance that we should desire him.” That he would be “despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.” We see that the coming Christ would be a man acquainted with grief, and pain, who had a heart to serve those whom he came to redeem through his death. This was all prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus was born!
Christ reinforced this prophecy when he declared, that “he came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” And that he would establish the New Covenant with his blood. Baby Jesus would grow up to ultimately reconcile sinful humanity with our holy God; thus saving us from the punishment we deserved.
Jesus saves, but not in the way most expected Him to. He came to serve, ultimately through his death on the cross, and as followers of Jesus, we are to serve as well. He came to suffer on our behalf, and we are reminded that this life may not be easy, or comfortable, but because of Jesus we will not have to suffer for eternity. We have a hope being reconciled through his death, for a future where the King will reign on His throne, exalted at the right hand of the Father, receiving the praise, honor, and glory in fanfare we expected Him to come with originally.
- Jesus came to serve. As we desire to model his life, how have you served this last year? How has it brought you joy? What is one new way you could serve regularly at City Church?
- Christmas can be a time where you feel very blessed, or may experience much pain. In Isaiah 53:1-12, we see that Christ is well acquainted with pain and suffering. How does Jesus’ experience with pain and suffering comfort you in difficult times? In times of difficulty, how can Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection bring you joy?