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公仆的姿态,痛楚之子

仆人的态度 读经: 以赛亚书五十三章7至12节

忧伤之子 读经: 以赛亚书五十三章1至6节

7他被欺压,在受苦的时候却不开口;他像羊羔被牵到宰杀之地,又像羊在剪毛的人手下无声,他也是这样不开口。

1我们所传的有谁信呢?耶和华的膀臂向谁显露呢?

8因受欺压和审判,他被夺去,至于他同世的人,谁想他受鞭打、从活人之地被剪除,是因我百姓的罪过呢?

2他在耶和华面前生长如嫩芽,像根出于干地。他无佳形美容;我们看见他的时候,也无美貌使我们羡慕他。

9他虽然未行强暴,口中也没有诡诈,人还使他与恶人同埋;谁知死的时候与财主同葬。

3他被藐视,被人厌弃;多受痛苦,常经忧患。他被藐视,好像被人掩面不看的一样;我们也不尊重他。

10耶和华却定意将他压伤,使他受痛苦。耶和华以他为赎罪祭。他必看见后裔,并且延长年日。耶和华所喜悦的事必在他手中亨通。

4他诚然担当我们的忧患,背负我们的痛苦;我们却以为他受责罚,被神击打苦待了。

11他必看见自己劳苦的功效,便心满意足。有许多人因认识我的义仆得称为义;并且他要担当他们的罪孽。

5哪知他为我们的过犯受害,为我们的罪孽压伤。因他受的刑罚,我们得平安;因他受的鞭伤,我们得医治。

12所以,我要使他与位大的同分,与强盛的均分掳物。因为他将命倾倒,以致于死;他也被列在罪犯之中。他却担当多人的罪,又为罪犯代求。

6我们都如羊走迷;各人偏行己路;耶和华使我们众人的罪孽都归在他身上。

要我们默然忍受痛苦,绝不是易事。但基督为何要「受苦的时候却不开口」呢?因为他知道他的受苦和受死,都是出于神的心意,因此他便默然承担。 他要逃避痛苦其实并不困难,他什至可以在黑夜之中从客西马利园溜走。那些前来捉拿他的人,以致他的门徒,对于他的默然就?都显然感到很难理解。

圣经中的预言能够如实地应验,是证明圣经确是神话语的其中一个证据。旧约有许多关乎耶稣基督降生和受死的预言;我们今天所读到的经文,正是关乎基督的受死。 我们可能会发现这个预言十分奇怪。倘若先知是按照自己的意思来描述将要来临的弥赛亚,他一定会把他描述为一个满有能力和荣耀、处处吸引人的伟大人物。

然而,基督是神的羔羊。正如羔羊不会反抗主人,基督也是在没有呼救和抱怨的情况下面对死亡。他是心甘乐意地被人带走。

然而,这却不是旧约对他的写照。这里什至称他是「忧伤之子」,可见他在世上的时候,经历了如何的屈辱和孤单。

这章经文提供了许多有关他受死的细节。第8 节告诉我们,他所接受的审讯是何等不公。第9节指出,判他死刑的人,原本打算将他与其他一同钉十架的囚犯同葬,但最终,却有一位有钱人将他埋葬在他本人的墓穴中。事实亦一如预言所说的那样发生。

其次,留意经文预言他会受人厌弃和藐视。圣经之中,约翰福音一章11节是最令人感到痛心的一节经文,它这样说:「他到自己的地方来,自己的人倒不接待他。」以赛亚说:「他好像被人掩面不看一样」。试问还有什么,比我们碰见一个朋友,他却别过脸去,故意不看我们更令人难受呢?

第10和11节显然是要表明他要从死里复活。留意第11节说,他必看见自己劳苦的功效;唯有他从死里复活,他才可以看见。

第三,他受这一切苦楚,绝不是咎由自取,反之,却完全是为了拯救我们。请看第4和5节:他完全是为了承担我们罪恶和痛苦而忍受苦楚。「过犯」和「罪孽」是指到我们的行为违背了神的律法,和故意扭曲神的心意来迎合自己的意思。一个犯罪的人,当然是没有平安,可是,他的内心却渴求得到平安。

第12节指出,神必为他的工作而赏赐他。如果他没有复活,神又怎能赏赐他呢?

神知道我们根本不能够为自己赎罪,因此,他差遣他那完全无罪的儿子进入世界,来为我们成就了救赎计划。

这一章描述耶稣基督受死和复活的经文,是在事情发生前的600年,先知在圣灵的默示下写成的。神的能力实在令人敬畏。

他却要为此而舍掉生命。从来没有人像他受过如此的痛苦,也没有人像他经历如此的忧伤。然而,他受的苦却是非常有价值,因为它产生了前所未有的深远影响。

试用你的名字来代替经文中的「我们」,默想基督是何等爱你,甘愿为你受苦和受死。

让我们为到父神给我们所预备的救恩,以及神的儿子甘愿为我们承受了巨大的痛苦和舍命牺牲,再次献上深深的感恩。

THE SERVANT'S ATTITUDE Bible Reading: Isaiah 53:7-12

THE MAN OF SORROWS Bible Reading: Isaiah 53:1-6

7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

9 And they made His grave with the wicked? But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death,And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Silence under suffering is not easy for humans. Why was Christ silent? . Because he knew his suffering and death were all in the will of God and he accepted it as such. He could easily have avoided being arrested. He could have slipped away in the darkness in the Garden of Gethsemane. Those who came to arrest him and even his disciples seemed to find it difficult to understand his quiet surrender.

One of the greatest proofs that the Bible is the Word of God is fulfilled prophecy. Many prophecies in the Old Testament concern the coming of Jesus Christ, including his birth and his death. Here of course, we are dealing with his death. Notice first of all the strangeness of this prophecy. If man on his own had been writing the Bible, he would have certainly portrayed the coming Messiah as a great attractive personality who would come with a great show of power and splendour.

His judges could not understand him either. Pilate could not believe that Jesus had nothing to say for himself. Herod was very disappointed in his silence.

But that is not how the Old Testament pictures him. One of the names given to him here is 'man of sorrows'. While he was on earth he knew so much of humiliation and loneliness.

But Christ was the Lamb of God. Just as a Iamb does not fight back so he quietly faced death without any cry or complaint. He said he was laying down his life. It was not being taken from him against his will.

Secondly, notice the rejection that was prophesied. One of the saddest verses in the Bible is John 1:11 - 'He came unto his own and his own received him not'. Isaiah says 'we hid ... our faces from him'. Literally it means 'we turned our faces away when we met him'. Is there anything harder to bear than to have those who should be our friends turn away from us when we meet them?

There are many other details of his death given here in this chapter. Verse 8 tells us how wrong his trial would be. Verse 9 says his executioners would plan to bury him in a common grave with others who would be crucified at the same time. But this would not happen. Instead of being flung into a pit with others, a rich person would come and bury him in his own prepared grave. That is exactly what happened.

Thirdly all his sufferings were for us and not himself. Look at verses 4 and 5. It was just as the hymn says 'He took our sins and our sorrows and made them his very own'. Transgressions are those occasions when we break God's laws. Iniquities are our attempts to twist God's will to fit our own. Peace is what we did not have, yet we badly needed.

It is obvious from verses 10 and 11 that he would be alive after his death-in other words resurrection! Notice verse 11 says he would actually see the results of his own work. He could only do that if he were alive again.

We could not atone for these things by ourselves. God knew that and he sent his own perfect sinless son into this world to accomplish it for us. But it costs him his life. No-one has ever suffered as Christ did. No sorrow has ever been so deep. No sorrows were ever so undeserved. Yet no sorrow has had such tremendous results.

In verse 12 God says he will give him great rewards for his work. How could this be true if he were not alive again after his death?

Why not thank God the Father again today for the way he planned our salvation. Thank the Son of God for all his suffering and death on your behalf and mine?

The whole chapter is a marvellous picture of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ written under the inspiration of the Spirit of God 600 years before it all happened. How wonderful is the power of God.

Put your own name into some of these verses and see for yourself the wonder of Christ's suffering and death for you.

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