The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. 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. … Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.
Isaiah 50: 5-6,10
The Path that Jesus Took
The most notorious road in the world is the Via Dolorosa, “the Way of Sorrows.” According to tradition, it is the route Jesus took from Pilate’s hall to Calvary. You can still walk the Via Dolorosa, though the current route probably isn’t accurate. Ever since Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. and again in 135 A.D., no one knows the exact route Jesus followed that Friday. But we do know where the path actually began.
The path began, not in the court of Pilate, but in the halls of heaven. Jesus began his journey when he left his home in heaven to rescue us from sin and death.
This is a path that Jesus didn’t have to take. He could have “side-stepped” it. He could have walked away from it. He could have walked the path of glory instead of the road of suffering to Calvary. His own disciples tried to persuade him to do as much. In the Garden of Gethsemane, certainly the devil was making it clear to Jesus what he would suffer on the cross for people like Judas who would betray him, the disciples who would desert him, the chief priests and elders of the law who would taunt him, and for sinful, rebellious people like you and me. Jesus would suffer hell for people who acted like his enemies. He could have had legions of angels come down from heaven to fight for him. And at any point he could have just called it quits. But he didn’t.
Isaiah quotes our Savior: “I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. 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.”
But why? It’s not only that Jesus suffered; it’s that he suffered willingly. Why? Because this was the only way to wash away your sin; this was the only way heaven could be your home. This amazing, loving, merciful Savior, Jesus Christ, willingly suffered for you.
Isaiah shares his thoughts on this wonderful comfort: “Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.”
Indeed. Trust in the Lord. Rely on your God. The One who loves you so much that he willingly did everything necessary for your salvation will never let you down.
Dearest Savior, may your willingness to suffer and die for me make me always willing to faithfully follow you. Amen.
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