He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11.
What sustained the Son of God during His life of toil and sacrifice? He saw the results of the travail of His soul, and was satisfied. Looking into eternity, He beheld the happiness of those who through His humiliation had received pardon and everlasting life. His ear caught the shout of the redeemed. He heard the ransomed ones singing the song of Moses and the Lamb.
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” During every moment of Christ’s life in our world, God was repeating His gift. Christ, the sinless One, was making an infinite sacrifice for sinners, that they might be saved. He came as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and those for whom He came looked upon Him as stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. The cup of suffering was placed in His hand, as if He were the guilty one, and He drained it to the dregs. He bore the sin of the world to the bitter end. . . . No line can fathom, no measurement compute, the love revealed by the cross of Calvary. . . .
In every pang of anguish endured we behold the throes of paternal love. The Father Himself travailed in the greatness of His almighty love in behalf of a world perishing in sin. By the sacrifice that has been made, the gift of eternal life has been placed within the reach of every son and daughter of Adam.
Christ’s redeemed ones are His jewels, His precious and peculiar treasure. “They shall be as the stones of a crown”–“the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Zechariah 9:16; Ephesians 1:18). In them “he shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” Christ looks upon His people in their purity and perfection as the reward of all His sufferings, His humiliation, and His love, and the supplement of His glory–Christ the great center, from whom radiates all glory.
That I May Know Him p. 369
—- My Mom fell and broke her hip Tuesday night and was supposed to have surgery yesterday but her heart is giving her trouble so they have postponed it. I need prayers for her and my trip over to ____ today to be there with her. Bryce
—— Heidi was in an accident on February 20 – meeting head on with a telephone pole, after being squeezed off the road…she suffered some vertebra damage and bumps, cuts and bruising….her back has given her considerable pain but all along her right hand has become increasingly painful. Upon calling her doctor, when she began losing the feeling in 2 of her fingers, she was told it was probably a nérve being pinched because of her neck or back injury….. her hand went from pink, to blue to black….she went to ER on Monday night and they sent her by Ambulance to _____, a much larger Hospital far more equipped with Medical people needed to care for her….As it stands now, Heidi will lose her right hand……much of the tissue is dead and cannot be saved or regenerated. At first she hoped they would just need to remove the thumb and pointer finger, but they will have to amputate the entire hand and will try to save as much of her right arm as possible…..her spirits are remarkably calm and accepting but clearly, she will be the first to say that she does not know HOW she will feel after surgery. She does covet your prayers . . . . she is still in pretty serious pain. Patty
—–Please pray for Steve and his family as his mother passed away. Rose
In the early spring, the grocery stores display some types of fruit such as peaches or nectarines at greatly inflated prices. Sometimes, I will give in to the temptation to buy just a couple pieces even if the price is high. Often, I am greatly disappointed. When I got them at the store, they were firm and not yet ripe, but I knew that in a few days, they would soften and become sweet and juicy. Rarely has that happened. Often they will become wrinkled and rubbery on the outside and still hard closer to the center and totally unfit to eat. I’m always disappointed and wonder why I bought them in the first place since I have had bad experience with such fruit in the past.
The Great Master Gardener called Israel the fruit of His labors. Their fruit disappointed Him far more than the fruit from the store that shriveled. “Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.” Isa 5:1-6
Using the illustration that He gave to Isaiah so long before, Jesus warned the nation of Israel when He was upon the earth, “There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” Matt 21:33-43
Paul also speaks of this rejection of the nation of Israel and gives warning to His church (Gal 3:29) today, “Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” Rom 11:11-21
This is a warning to us. If we as Christians don’t “ripen” correctly, we eventually will become worthless. Jesus put it this way, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matt 5:13 Jesus speaks of this in Matthew 25. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” vs 31-45 These “goats” really thought that they were “sheep.” What made the difference? Their love and concern for others, their selflessness, their daily walk with Jesus, a complete change of heart, motives, and focus.
David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Ps 51:10-13 This also must be our daily prayer. Our Dear Saviour answers, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Eze 36:26,27
May we be careful to make our “calling and election sure” that we may not be cast aside like shriveled, moldy fruit. 2 Peter 1:10 May we be diligent to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14 May we rely upon the Holy Spirit’s working in our life that we may be good fruit for the Kingdom is my prayer.