Isaiah 50:6 – I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. (NIV)
Isaiah 52:14 – Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness. (NIV)
Several months ago, I had the opportunity to see a spectacular live presentation of the biblical play, "Joseph", at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA. When I arrived at the theatre, it was announced that the show would be slightly delayed because of a power outage on the set. So, while waiting for the performance to begin, I wondered what was happening behind the scenes. I thought about the incredible amount of time and preparation required to create such elaborate stage productions.
Likewise, in the mind of God, our salvation was carefully planned long before Calvary. There were many years of preparation before the curtain would be drawn open, revealing God's miraculous design of Jesus' perfect sacrifice and glorious resurrection. But many Old Testament events and prophecies foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah. Various individuals also played an important role in telling His story. A few of the cast of characters include:
- Isaac – a willing sacrifice
- Melchizedek – the King-Priest who offered bread and wine to Abraham
- Joseph – who was betrayed by His brothers but offered them forgiveness
- David – heir to an everlasting throne
- Jonah – buried in the belly of a great fish but rose again on the third day
Today's Scripture from Isaiah unmistakably portrays the future suffering of Christ long before His death on the cross. But finally, we can see beyond the curtain:
Matthew 27:51 – At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. (NIV)
Having accomplished total access for us into His glorious presence, let us now draw near and worship Him: Jesus made the way.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your patience and long-suffering toward us has meant the salvation of many souls throughout the ages. How richly You have blessed us with the knowledge of our Saviour who reveals and redeems. We thank You, Lord, that You are not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.