SHOCKED SPEECHLESS

Isa.52:13-15 – “Look! My servant will prosper and succeed!
He will be highly honored, raised up, and greatly exalted!
Just as many were appalled at the sight of him
(for so marred was his appearance, like an object of horror;
he no longer looked like a man),
so now he will startle many nations.
Kings will be shocked speechless before him.
For they will now see a sight unheard of,
and things never considered before now fill their thoughts.”

Shocked speechless; that is the best way to describe our response to the birth, life, and death of Jesus of Nazareth. He was born of a virgin, shocking. He is God in the form of a man, shocking. He was raised in a common, working class family, shocking. His teaching and miracles were shocking, His betrayal was shocking. His suffering and death leave us speechless. The results of His death and resurrection have continued to shock us speechless. Our miserable lives have been restored and made complete by Jesus of Nazareth. Here are some comments from the Passion Notes on His horrifying death.

“This section of Isaiah is perhaps the greatest description of the life, crucifixion, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, apart from the four Gospels. Up to this point in Isaiah’s writings, the “Servant” has been described as the true Prophet, Teacher, and victorious Redeemer, with no hint whatsoever that his activity would be interrupted by death. But in this section we find him as the unparalleled Suffering Servant and Sin-Bearer who died for us. The prophecy found here is the most remarkable in all of the Old Testament of the sufferings of Jesus Christ and the glory that followed (1 Peter 1:11). Isa. 52:13 through Isa. 53 is quoted in all four Gospels, Acts, Romans, and 1 Peter. It is the epicenter of the gospel.”

To think that the Son of God who became a man was marred more than any man is astounding. His suffering was not only physical, He also carried the suffering of our sinfulness in His death on the cross. This mystery is beyond comprehension unless…. Unless you have a glimpse of His work of redemption which is the fruit of the suffering of Jesus. Christ suffered and died to save sinners. He suffered and died for me. How does that effect me? I am shocked speechless.

KINSMAN REDEEMER

Isaiah 52:8-9The Kinsman Redeemer is a mysterious character in the Bible. This man of mystery is seen in the story of Ruth. Ruth was a childless widow who was cared for by Boaz; Christ ultimately came from this unlikely marriage. Ruth is a great picture of the church. We were outcastes and unable to care for ourselves until the Lord took us in. Just as Boaz protected and provided for Ruth, the Lord has covered and redeemed us. He is our provision and protection in all things. Here is how MacArthur describes the Kinsman Redeemer.

“In Hebrew, the word for kinsman-redeemer is Go’el HaDahm. It comes from the word lig’ol, which means “to redeem.”

As the name implies, a kinsman is a family relation, usually the next of kin if there is no brother or another male in the immediate family. And according to the dictionary, a redeemer is someone who buys, buys back, recovers, pays off, or exchanges something for goods.

Putting it all together, a kinsman-redeemer is someone, usually the nearest relative, who is charged with the duty of restoring or recovering the rights of another and avenging any wrongs in exchange for something.

By law, the kinsman-redeemer had two main responsibilities: (1) to redeem family property that had changed ownership, and (2) to marry a childless widow and raise children in her dead husband’s name.”

Maybe you feel like an outcast, unable to fit into your world. You find it hard to survive and feel unprotected in this dangerous environment. Just as Boaz took in Ruth as his bride, Christ has taken us in. He has pledged all of His resources to protect and provide for all of our needs.

This example reminds me again of the great mystery of the incarnation of Christ. God Himself became one of us. He is our closest relative. He became a human that we can be included in His family. If He is my protector and provider I have no concern. My role is to stay totally dependent on Him and to enjoy this unlikely relationship. Christ is my kinsman Redeemer.