Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 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 her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Isaiah 53:49
WE ARE BOMBARDED by voices that claim to tell us what love is all about. Yet, whether those voices come from television, radio, magazines, or even the classroom, love is often misrepresented. So it is helpful for us to regain a biblical perspective, including a definition and an example of loves true meaning.
The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:16). Everything God does is motivated by love. This becomes clear as we under-stand that God sent Jesus Christ, showing that godly love is more than words and feelings: It is the action of giving ones self for others. As we meditate on this everlasting love God has for us (Jer 31:3), let us surrender ourselves to become channels of Gods love to others. May we be living sacrifices of ser-vice and praise to the Author and Embodiment of love itself.
Lord, as we observe the day of your Sons suffering on the cross, remind me that your love can overcome lifes most difficult problems. And make me a messenger of your love.
Joe Gregory is the minister of worship arts at First Church of God in Vincennes, Indiana.