It’s not unusual to hear of Jesus, the Christ, being referred to as our Suffering Servant, a common idiom especially around the season in celebration of His work on the cross at Calvary. But with only a limited understanding of the elements and relationship of His character within this framework can leave us lacking in the truth and dominion that these elements are intended to display.
Within the walls of my home, there is an individual whom I am honored to shepherd. I use this word ‘shepherd’ very carefully, as this assignment has been like none other I’ve yet to know. It’s not a work of nursing care, although my skills in that arena have been required. I’m not a distant yet benevolent overseer, but more a guiding role, carrying a type and shadow of lessons to be acquired and to present as offerings. At every turn, and at times comical, resistance presents as a constant companion alongside a gracious cadence of His grace waiting to be unveiled. Sometimes I see this grace and its flow is mine; other times, I am grossly inept in finding the key that unlocks this treasure.
So like He came In a manager, as our suffering servant, and slept, we would not have called Him such a name when He first came. Fresh, tiny, the joyous light to mankind, a gem of love was welcomed from the womb, aglow with Heaven’s love and Earth’s timely arrival. Yet, our Christ would become that Suffering Servant spoken by some to be unrecognizable.
We easily miss the depth of the treasure sent to us, when first we settle on a predetermined set of expectations about what this package really must hold and offer to us. How we come to recognize one another is a mark of our inability or ability to truly know our own heart.
Do we find a fresh and novel revelation in friendship, a unique trait, a special cadence in the way our brother or sister presents themselves? Will we be aware of the shining spirit of those most awkward moments given to us in silent smiles? Or have we set a cast in place of how it must look, pouring over that other person a shrouded mold of our own insecurities or motives fixed in molten iron of our own mired view? My heart breaks for the number of molds I have set wrongly over an individual or situation.
When Jesus came, His form was written as being “beyond that the children of mankind” Isaiah 52:14, yet in the fulfillment of time this broken and contrite revelation, sealed in humanity, became our conquering King. Perhaps this grossness spoken of in Isaiah reflects our own horrendous ugliness of sin. Though blackness hung as a weighted curtain of demise over Christ’s human form upon the cross, and darkness played its part from the sixth to the ninth hour, the light would come.
Love shone through the vestment of Christ’s pierced humanity and was capped with hope with the completion of a thousand different prophecies and promises. He turned not to the left nor the right from all the rebuke which was ours to bear. He received all of it on our behalf because of love – because IT WAS ALWAYS HIS ALONE TO REDEEM. The earth quaked, and Heaven erupted in celebration as His life released the fulfillment of THE VERDICT for all eternity to tell.
This is our suffering King - together alone or alone together - He alone is the only One able to clean the lens of our vision to see the treasure that is ours to unwrap. There, in His presence, through the gift of humble humanity, our legitimacy is found, and our vision can be restored. That person set before you in a relationship has stored within some gift our King desires us to receive.
Amidst the countless mess of uncertainties, come practice with me the making of our first place in turning towards Him. With Him, we can catch a glimmer of the celebration of knowing that He has already divided a portion with the many and has overcome it ALL.
“Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).