“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:3-4)
I’m so used to looking at this verse to think about Jesus that I all but missed it. And yet, once you see it, it’s everything… it’s almost the whole point of the Cross of Christ.
It is standing with those that have no standing.
Jesus was despised just “like one from whom people hide their faces.”
So who are they? Who are the people from whom people hide their faces? Think of those who have no standing in your community.
It could be the homeless, of course.
It could be those in the grip of some addiction, be it drugs or alcohol.
It could be those who have some sort of disability or mental condition. Anybody who prompts the thought “There but for the grace of God go I.” Anybody towards whom you are tempted to feel a little superior.
Of course, it could be those of another race, or another class, or another religion…
How easy it is to turn one’s face from difficult and embarrassing associations. How easy to award them second place in your church functions (or even ask them to leave).
How difficult to fully take your stand with those who have no standing.
Corrie Ten Boom’s father was a well-respected businessman who not only refused to accept the anti-Jewish legislation of the occupying Nazi regime, but voluntarily wore the Jewish yellow star, and eventually, suffered and died with them.
Lord, you took your stand with those who had no standing. Teach me what that means where I live.