Saturday, November 21, 2015

Devotional Thought : Isaiah 53:10

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:10

We struggle with passages that tell us God sends suffering to innocent people. It messes with our concept of a compassionate God. Personally I find it helps if I separate those things which God initiates and those things he allows.

However Jewish thinking doesn't make this distinction. They saw God as Sovereign and therefore responsible for everything that happens. Everything comes from his hand. Theologically they have no problem with God sending suffering.

Still it helps me to see suffering as the effects of living in a broken world and while God could stop all forms of suffering he allows it to continue because he can see a greater good coming from it. Suffering teaches us the enormous damage sin has caused, not only to us personally but to God and his creation. It makes us realise the depth of depravity people sink to without God, and that even creation is groaning (Romans 8:22).

In this verse from Isaiah we see that Christ's suffering as an offering for sin, will bring forgiveness and freedom from sin. It was an enormous price to pay – Jesus was crushed for our iniquities – but the benefits continue to flow through generation after generation. One day, because of Jesus' sacrificial death, we will see the restoration of all God intended and our gratitude will be overwhelming.

While suffering is hard to understand and difficult to deal with, we have hope because the Cross promises us that God hasn't forsaken us and that he has a plan to stop suffering.

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