4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 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 its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Every week in our Little Sparklers toddler group I lead the singing. Every week we sing the old favourite, “Wind a Bobbin Up”, and every time we sing it I am reminded of the footage shown so often on the news of Nazanin Zighari- Radcliffe singing this simple song with her own toddler. Every time I send up a prayer for this poor young mother separated from her family and caught up in a nightmare of other people’s making.
When we read these words about Jesus it can sound as though he too was caught up in a nightmare of other peoples’ making- and yet nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus did not come to earth to be a powerless victim but to purposefully put himself in our place. He chose to be that perfect lamb sacrificing himself for us in our place, taking on himself our pain and brokenness. This can be hard to take in and understand- why would anyone do that for us, let alone the Son of God who had so much more to lose and seemingly nothing to gain? We read these words of a silent suffering servant and imagine tragedy and defeat when actually this was the moment of victory- God’s wonderful rescue plan happening under everyday peoples noses.
This Christmas perhaps you will join with me in praying for the release of Nazanin, but perhaps you will also discover a release for yourself in the Christmas baby that came to be your suffering, triumphant saviour?