Aug 5, 2012
Motyer on Isaiah 52:13-53:12
I really enjoyed these comments for the day by Alec Motyer on Isaiah 52:13-53:12.
"Holy ground indeed! It feels irreverent to attempt a “thought for the day” from this awesome passage. Why not just read and re-read it? But if a “thought” must be offered, consider the opening of verse 10: “It was Yahweh's pleasure to crush him.” Many a Christian parent has known heartfelt joy when a dear child is called into the Lord’s service, and has also accepted with (tearful) joy the departure of the child to distant – even menacing – places, demanding suffering and sacrifice. But there comes a point where tears remain and joy ends! Consider, therefore, “the love that drew salvation’s plan,” finding pleasure in sending the beloved Son; finding pleasure too when “by the carefully planned intention and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23) he was “delivered” into lawless hands to crucify and put to death. No, that is a love beyond our possibility of experience, yet, says John (I John 4:9–10, 14), “this is what love is – he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” It is not only God’s peace that is “past understanding,” beyond our powers of heart and mind; far more so his love. The hymn-writer asks, “Jesus, what didst thou find in me that thou has dealt so lovingly?” Change the wording from “Jesus” to “Father.” The answer remains the same – he loved us because he loved us because he is love. The response is not to question, not to raise unintelligent questions prompted by our deficient, sin-impaired logic but, as Wesley should have written, that we should be “found in wonder, love and praise.” In this place, too, we discover how marvellously secure we are in Christ. Through him as Mediator we come to the Father, and, knowing partially but terrifyingly, all that unfits us for his presence and fits us for his wrath, we find ourselves in the presence of love beyond anything known on earth, and the voice which says, “I was delighted when my Son died for you – and I am still delighted.”"
Alec Motyer, Isaiah by the Day: A New Devotional Translation (Ross-shire: Christian Focus, 2011), 261.