Lord God I pray today for police officers as they go about their duties. Protect them from harm, and help them to keep calm in all situations. Bless their loved ones waiting at home, fearful of what might happen to them. Help them to cherish each other. In Jesus’ name I ask it. AMEN.
Lord, I thank you today for my parents, for all the sacrifices they made for me, the way they brought me up, and the example they set. Forgive me for not having been more appreciative when I was younger. And make me a good Christian parent, I pray. AMEN.
Lord God, if at any time today I feel afraid, give me new courage and the sense that you are close. If I am tempted to do wrong or to say a hasty word, hold me back. If I am inclined to judge another person harshly, stop me from doing it. Help me to live like Jesus. In his name. AMEN.
“Justice miscarried, and he was led off – and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for his own welfare. Beaten bloody for the sins of my people”.
Isaiah 53:8 EHP
We have to admit that the story that Isaiah tells in this passage reads more like a chapter from the crucifixion stories in the New Testament Gospels. How Isaiah could describe the sufferings and death of the servant of God and bring out the significance of it for human salvation some five hundred years before Christ actually lived out the role before their eyes is difficult to understand. Furthermore the work of the servant as the catalyst for atonement for our sins is not simple and straightforward to understand. But in this and many other places where we cannot understand, our response must be to wonder, to adore and to accept. Our intellects leave us short when we try and fathom out the ways and reasons of God’s workings. Well might Isaiah have God saying, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts, and my ways are different from yours” (Isaiah 55:8 GNB).
The idea of blood sacrifice was deeply woven into Hebrew thinking. It was as commonplace and unquestioned as gravity is in our worldview. And the sacrifices offered up were deeply involved in the process of atonement. “Atonement” is paying for the sin and removing it in such a way that God and man are restored to fellowship with each other. So Isaiah thought out the meaning of Christ’s death centuries before Christ put it all into action, living out the life of the Suffering Servant, and bringing an end to the animal sacrifices.
Lord, I adore you for taking my sins on yourself in silent suffering and death.
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