Christmas Devotional | Day 19
December 19, 2017
Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 | He Had No Beauty
Jesus was despised, rejected, and crucified for our sins so that we might have peace with God.
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.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned-every one-to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
This time of year holds an attraction for most people, including unbelievers. The sounds, sights, and smells of Christmas naturally attract us. That's not a bad thing, in and of itself, but we should not be deceived into thinking that Christ's birth, nor the years that followed, looked like a Christmas postcard.
Today's reading predicted that the Messiah, whom we know as Jesus, would not attract people based on His outward appearance. He had "no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him." In other words, Jesus was not the kind of Messiah most people were expecting. Instead of being celebrated, He was "despised and rejected by men." But, praise God, even Christ's rejection was part of God's saving plan, for "it was the will of the Lord to crush Him" (Isaiah 53:10).
Christ was not punished for His own sin, since He had none, but rather He was "crushed for our iniquities" (emphasis added). Jesus took our punishment on the cross in order to bring us peace with God. The One who, outwardly speaking, looked so unimpressive to the world is beautiful and precious to the eyes of faith. This Messiah was a "man of sorrows," but to believers He brings indescribable and unending joy.
Jesus did not attract people based on what He looked like. Most people did not believe He was the Savior, and some even hated Him enough to crucify Him. However, Jesus' death on the cross was the payment for our sins. This Savior who was hated by men brings forgiveness and salvation to those who trust in Him.
Jesus was not the kind of Messiah people were expecting. How is this still true today? What is it about the gospel message that is so difficult for people to accept?
For Kids: Why didn't God's people recognize Jesus as the Savior sent from God? (Many people were expecting a Savior who looked powerful enough to defeat Israel's enemies.)
Thank Christ for being willing to be despised, rejected, and crucified so that we might be forgiven of our sins and have peace with God.
For Further Reading
Read about Christ's crucifixion, which He endured on our behalf, in Matthew 27:1-54.
"But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities . . ."
Practical Response - Pray for the Persecuted
In addition to praying for the unreached, we should also remember to pray for brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing opposition for their faith. Pray that God would sustain their faith and empower their witness to Christ. For more on the persecution of Christians across the world, visit opendoorsusa.org.
Devotional credit: Radical, Inc.