As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
so shall he sprinkle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him…
– Isaiah 52:14-15a
Consider Jesus our Savior. Consider his suffering. He was beaten. A crown of thorns was pressed onto his head. He was scourged with a whip that ripped open his flesh forty times. He was hung on a cross with nails in his hands and feet. The extent of his suffering was so great that our passage tells us he didn’t even look like a man. He didn’t even look human, but rather a bloody mass of flesh hanging there on the cross. Consider his suffering.
And in his suffering, he sprinkles the nations. The high priest would sacrifice an animal and sprinkle the blood to cleanse, to purify, to make clean. And in the suffering of our Savior, his blood was spilt to be sprinkled on the nations, to cleanse us from our sins, to make us pure and clean. Consider his suffering that cleanses us from our sins.
And in his suffering, he shocks the nations. As people looked upon this suffering servant, they were astonished. They shut their mouths in shock and dismay at this spectacle of suffering. And yet the shock goes beyond the suffering to the salvation that flows from it – that we would be saved by his shed blood. How strange is this salvation!
And we ought to wonder. The cross can become so familiar to us. But stop and wonder at his sufferings on your behalf. Wonder at his incredible love that endured such suffering. Wonder at this great salvation that flows from his suffering. Stop and wonder.
Father, thank you for the suffering of Jesus that cleanses us from our sins.
May we wonder anew at his suffering and the shocking salvation
that flows from his blood.