Bible in a Year – Day 220: To Give Him Honor
Isaiah 53 is one of the most famous prophecies about the Messiah. In it, there are a number of things that point to the life of Jesus – things which, of course, wouldn’t be recognized until after Jesus’ death. Some of the more interesting pieces of this prophecy are the minute details that align perfectly with the story of Jesus.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)
If you are familiar with the story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, you know that this is exactly how it happened. In fact, Jesus had every opportunity to defend himself, but he chose not to. He remained silent in the face of his accusers, even though he had every reason to defend himself against their lies.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death (Isaiah 53:9)
This is a particularly interesting passage because it is so specific. Jesus, in fact, was “assigned a grave with the wicked” and “with the rich in his death” – buried in a tomb owned by a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin (the ruling body of Israel, known at that time to be somewhat corrupt) who had become a follower of Jesus. The man who “loaned” Jesus his tomb was named Joseph of Arimathea and is sometimes described as a secret follower of Jesus.
I suppose you could make the argument that Jesus’ disciples had scoured the Old Testament in search of Messianic prophecies and worked their fingers to the bone in order to fulfill them, but it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it? These guys had nothing to gain and everything to lose by following Jesus. All they would have had to do if they didn’t believe he was who he said he was is to wait until he died and then go on with their lives. Instead, here is Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy and respected man who risks everything to make sure Jesus is buried in a proper tomb – that he is given an honorable burial.
I wonder how much I am willing to risk and sacrifice in order that Jesus be honored? It’s tempting sometimes to just take the easy way out – to go about your business and tell yourself that Jesus will take care of himself. But for people like Joseph of Arimathea, there is an understanding that the question is not whether Jesus can tend to his own needs, but rather, whether or not we are willing to do for him even a fraction of what he has done for us.
Frankly, I fail at this time and time again and I’ll continue until the day I die to try to find a way to muster the courage of Joseph of Arimathea in order to honor my savior.
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- Bible in a Year – Day 364: Payback
- Bible in a Year – Day 363: What Does That Mean?
- Bible in a Year – Day 359: A Personal Visit
- Bible in a Year – Day 357: True of False
- Bible in a Year – Day 353: Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing
- Bible in a Year – Day 352: How About Jew?
- Bible in a Year – Day 347: One More Time!
- Bible in a Year – Day 344: Dreams, Dreams