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Easter Reflections - Thoughts from Isaiah 53

Easter Reflections - Thoughts from Isaiah 53

by Jill Troyer on April 20, 2022

Isaiah 53 is one of my favorite passages from The Bible. It is an Old Testament prophecy of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every Easter I try to make sure I read and meditate on it. I should have it memorized by now with the amount of times I’ve read it but, each time I do, something different captures my heart (proof that the Word of God is alive). 

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11)

By and because of His (Jesus) knowledge of why He had to die, Jesus, out of the anguish He was feeling, could still see the light of life, the fruit of His suffering and was, get this, SATISFIED! The closest thing I can relate this scenario is a mother in a very difficult labor who receives her healthy baby when it is all over. I, myself have never had a baby, been in labor or really been in great anguish. So, this blows my mind and is maybe why it captured my heart this year. To you mothers who have labored to receive and sadly to lose, to you fathers and husbands who have been right there, to you human being who has experienced much pain in their life…Jesus understands.

I spent a few hours in the prayer rooms this past weekend and while there I decided to spend time reading Isaiah 53 alongside the passages of the crucifixion and the days leading up to it. As I was reading there were a few potential reasons and explanations of Jesus’ anguish that stuck out to me that I wanted to share.

His anguish could have been from the knowledge of what was to come.
(Extra reading, see Luke 22:41-44)
Have you ever been dreading a certain encounter, an event…etc that you made yourself sick? Or have experienced such anxiety at even the thought and knowledge of something coming up that was unknown and a new experience? Have you ever let those feelings stop you? I know I have, too often actually. Since I let myself be stopped to often, I am VERY thankful that Jesus trusted the Father enough to endure and push through the mental pain and turmoil. He knew the trouble coming but He also knew the reward and remembered the purpose, the glory that was ahead of the trouble. He saw the purpose and was satisfied.

His anguish could have been from the physical journey to his death. He was beaten to the point of being unrecognizable, mocked, covered in blood and had to carry his own cross. If I were to even run a mile (which really isn’t that difficult of a feat) it would result in me on the floor, my legs feeling like jello, and my heart rate spiking to the point of feeling like its going to jump out of my chest. Dramatic I know. All that to say, I cannot fathom the physical journey He endured. Jesus endured it. He hung on that cross with nails in his hands and feet, in anguish. He saw the purpose and was satisfied.

His anguish could have been from the separation from the Father at His death, which was something He had never experienced before. I imagine a parent and a child in a store. For no specific reason the child is lost and has no clue where he/she or their parent is. The parent is desperately seeking out their child to make sure they are safe. That separation is anguish for the both of them because neither know where each other are and if they are okay. Christ was separated from the Father at His death (See Mark 15:34), but He knew that the outcome of that separation would end with those who receive the Father’s invitation and choose to follow Him being able to never know that separation from Him. (Romans 8:31-39) WOW. That is not the only thing though. In the middle of His anguish, His work never stopped as He welcomed one of the criminals on a cross beside Him into paradise! His work of doing the Father’s business, leading sinner’s to the Father never ended, even whilst dying. He saw the purpose and was satisfied.

How satisfying in your final hours to still be open and doing your Father’s work of receiving people and giving the only gift that truly matters - eternal life with God.

Jesus knew the outcome, that He would defeat death, that those He loved would get to spend eternity with Him and be saved from the final penalty of sin. We were worth the knowledge of the painful journey ahead of Him. We were worth the brief separation from the Father because spoiler alert, the separation didn’t last. Jesus conquered death by His resurrection, securing an eternal salvation and place for those who choose to follow and live for Him. 

Takeaways:

  1. We may not be able to know what an outcome will be but we can remember that God knows and we can trust Him. When our mental health is struggling, when our knowledge and our expectations feel too heavy, we can look to Jesus as our example, the Spirit as our helper and the Father as our keeper.
  2. Knowing, trusting God and remembering why we are doing what we are doing for the glory and sake of God will empower us to endure much pain. God’s plans, ways are far greater than anything we can ever come up with. He always has a purpose and plan. Trust Him. Endure for Him.
  3. Our Gospel work never stops. Jesus is our model. If He takes time in the midst of dying, to notice those around Him and still encourages and receive them (Luke 23:26-49) then my work of sharing Jesus’ love and hope with others never stops either, despite what I feel.

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