Pastor Chuck Jacob preached a sermon recently on a particularly amazing portion of Isaiah 52 and 53. Much of Isaiah sees the future to the face of Jesus. And thanks to Handel, much of what Isaiah saw is put to soaring music as well as words of hope.
But. There is one small catch. Maybe two. First, Isaiah is thought to have been martyred for his prophecy, and second….
Jesus gives us hope by becoming our disfigurement. That is what Pastor Jacob describes–God made flesh and then made Calamity for us.
I often think about The Princess Bride Not only does Westley endure the unendurable in the quest for love, he then gives one of the most apt descriptions of disfigurement ever–
Wrong! Your ears you will keep and I will tell you why…so that…”Dear God, what is that thing?” will echo in your perfect ears. That is what “to the pain” means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.
Tough stuff for a romantic fable, but an efficient echo of redemptive agony–Jesus became disfigured and unrecognizable as the real embodiment of the sin, filth, violence, and casual cruelty of Man. We, if we dare to look, see him as a monster as he dies for us. We fail to recognize the monstrous signature of our own clawing sins.
He goes to hell disfigured. But what would be a dreadful, eternal quietus for us is the force of redemptive power–him for us, God poured out for me.
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