Holy Wednesday April 16, 2014

Isaiah 50:4-9a Hebrews 12:1-3

Life in this world is hard. If you don’t agree with what is politically correct, then you can be ridiculed. If you view a particular lifestyle as being full of sin, then you can be labeled as being judgmental. If you express faith in God, then you can be called a hypocrite.

Some of the ways that we can handle how people treat us include, but are not limited to: striking back, giving up, or keeping on course. If we strike back at those who ridicule us, then we can cause great harm to ourselves and others. If we strike back with words who label us judgmental, then we are giving them more ammunition. If we strike back at those who call us hypocrites, then we do not live the love Jesus has shown us to live.

If we give up when we are ridiculed, then we end up hiding our light under a bushel basket. If we give up when we are labeled judgmental, then we lose out on chances to teach the world what we know about God. If we give up when we are called hypocrites, then we allow the enemy to have a victory over us.

For us, we keep on course. That is necessary for our lives. How do we keep on course? There is a servant whom is talked about in Isaiah 50. This servant is described as one who learns from God. As this servant learns from God, he is not ashamed of what happens to him. He is even bold enough to want his adversaries to confront him!

Who is this servant? Just one chapter before, specifically 49:6, this servant is called “a light to the nations.” How does this servant do this work as a light to the nations? This servant has learned from God, does not turn backward, and keeps on course. As this servant keep on course, the weary are given strength (Isaiah 40:31).

And do the weary need strength! With many people striking out against those who follow Jesus, we can become weary. With ridicule being piled up, we can become weary.

We know this servant that Isaiah prophesied about is Jesus Christ. Not only can Jesus be described as a servant of God, he is also the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Jesus kept the course. He showed us how to remain faithful to God. He showed us that we can be mature in our faith. (That is the perfection Hebrews is talking about.)

Jesus did not lose heart or grow weary. We who are following Jesus, during this Holy Week and during every day of our lives, we need not lose heart or grow weary. We keep on course through the help of God’s servant, Jesus Christ.

Jesus kept on course because of the joy that was set before him. What was that joy? It was the joy of being obedient to God! It was the joy of getting to sit on God’s right hand! It was the joy of knowing that he indeed is the light to the nations!

We keep on course by listening to God. That is what Jesus did. We keep on course by following the light of the world. Jesus kept on course by being the light of the world. We keep on course, despite how hard life in this world is. That is what Jesus did. By His power, we too can keep on course. We can remain faithful to God, just like Jesus did.

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