READ: Isaiah 52-53
THINK: Why do so many reject Christ-or at least refuse to accept the full truth of His message? It depends on what people feel they need or don't need. Pride causes some to deny their need to be saved from sin. Others object to God's method of securing salvation. To them, Jesus' humiliation seems like an unreasonable requirement. Those who overthink it may consider the message too good to be true. They may even feel unworthy of forgiveness. Then again, some are simply unwilling to surrender their own desires for God's. All of these objections keep people from experiencing the ultimate life God intends for them. Only those who humbly surrender to Christ will find the peace and purpose that Jesus went to the greatest lengths to provide for those who entrust their lives to Him.
RESPOND: What was the "good news" (52:7) the Jews in Babylon received, and how does this relate to your privilege now? (See 52:7 note.) Who is the suffering servant in this passage, and why would He be "highly exalted"? (See 52:13-53:12 note and 52:13 note.) What brutal event is described in 52:14? (See 52:14 note.) Why do many people have trouble believing the message of Christ? (See 53:1 note.) What does it mean that the Messiah (Christ) would be "like a root out of dry ground"? (See 53:2 note.) Why would Christ be "a man of sorrows"? (See 53:3 notes.) What does it mean that He "took up our infirmities" (53:4), both physically and spiritually? (See 53:4 note.) What are "our transgressions" (53:5), and why did Jesus have to die because of them? (See 53:5 first note.) What kinds of healing does Christ's wounds provide? (See 53:5 second note.) What's the natural tendency of all humankind (53:6) and how does this affect our relationship with God? (See 53:6 note.) With what attitude did Jesus endure suffering, and why? (See 53:7 note.) Why was it "the LORD'S will to crush him" (53:10)? (See 53:10 note.) What does it mean that Christ "made intercession" for us, and how does He continue to do so? (See 53:12 third note.)
PRAY: Give thanks for the opportunity to deliver the Good News of Jesus. Pray for boldness to do this. Thank Jesus for willingly suffering all He did to provide forgiveness, salvation and eternal life for you.
ACT: Consider how Jesus humbly and boldly suffered and sacrificed for you, regardless of how people viewed or treated Him. Adopt the same attitude as you look for opportunities to share His love in actions and words.
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