by John F. Klem
Our thoughts of Christmas and our seasonal experiences are all framed in the context of pleasantries. The birth of a newborn babe conjures up joyful and optimistic thoughts and feelings. The virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ is no different. It is a long awaited prophecy fulfilled. The third Servant Song in the book of Isaiah (50:4–11) does, however, remind us that the Messianic Servant would suffer greatly in order to accomplish the eternally planned redemption.
The first two Servant Songs depict a resolute Servant Who will faithfully accomplish His divine commission. He will open blind eyes, release captives (42:7), and restore and bring back the nation of Israel (49:6). The final two songs more graphically describe the Servant’s pain and suffering associated with His task. Lest we think that the Servant suffers because of personal sin or failure, Isaiah 50:8 and 9 declare His blamelessness.
The suffering theme of this third song is reported to us in verses 6 and 7. The Servant willingly gives His back for a beating, His cheeks for beard plucking, and His face as a target for spitting. As the God-Man, He does so with resolve and with trust in the Lord God Who helps Him (50:7, 9).
Advent does need to remind us that sin and rebellion are awful things that required a perfect sin offering. Think about it! The Holy God against Whom we transgressed orchestrated a historical, redemptive plan that included the Lord Jesus Christ taking on flesh and blood as our personal sin bearer. He did not fly in from Heaven surrounded by armed security guards, drop off a payment, and then return to the comfort of a kingdom. Instead He took on the form of a servant, humbled Himself, and became obedient to the point of death (Philippians 2:1–11).
How grateful we are for the work of the Messiah. How fitting it is, in light of this Song, that Isaiah 50:10 calls us to trust in the name of the Lord and to rely on the God of the Servant.
John F. Klem is director of Regular Baptist Press.
Regular Baptist Press is committed to providing educational resources that point people of all ages to Christ not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. RBP offers a wide range of curriculum, VBS programs, Bible studies, books, and training seminars that are Biblically sound, cover the entirety of Scripture, and designed for spiritual growth.
- Read the entire series of Advent meditations.