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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sheepishness (Isaiah 53:6)

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us have gone our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth."

Isaiah uses the analogy of a sheep to describe both man and the Messiah. He uses the negative nature of the sheep to describe man's stubborn inclination toward Independence and rebellion and He uses the positive nature of the sheep to describe Jesus' defenseless subjection to death.

The fact that the writer uses the analogy of a sheep to describe man's sinful nature and Jesus' substitutionary death is no accident. Jesus, as the Son of Man, took on the same nature as mankind in order to identify with mankind both in life and in death. In both cases He set aside the exercise of his attributes as deity in order to become the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. God accepted the shedding of the blood of the Innocent One on behalf of the guilty--the Innocent Lamb on behalf of the lambs who rebelled.

In the sacrificial system in the Old Testament the believer offered the sacrificial lamb, put his hand on the lamb's head, confessed his sins and slew the lamb before the altar. By placing his hands on the lamb he identified with the lamb as his substitute. In the New Testament Jesus is the sacrificial lamb. Believers identify with Him when they place their trust in Him. 


Jesus identifies with those who identify with Him.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Isaiah 51:1-55:13
  • Why are those who pursue righteousness commanded to consider Abraham? (Read Galatians 3:6-9)
  • What happens to a person or people who "forget" God?
  • What is this "cup" that the Lord refers to?
  • What are the four reasons given for the Messiah's death?
  • What does the suffering of the Messiah accomplish?
  • What analogy does the LORD use to describe His relationship with Israel in chapter 54?
  • What story does He use to assure Israel of His unfailing love?
  • The LORD invites those who are thirsty but broke to "buy and eat". What type of currency does the LORD refer to?
  • What analogy does the LORD used to describe the veracity of His word?
Turning truth into prayer
Thank the LORD that He accepts the shedding of the blood of the Innocent One on behalf of those who recognize their guilt.