This was another impactful chapter from Begg and Ferguson’s book Name Above All Names. I have learned that what I am experiencing in life helps determine how I will read a book – this one is no diferent. Here are some highlights from the “Suffering Servant” chapter:
1. Isaiah 53: “He carried our sorows” – Sin plays a harsh role in this world. Our sorrows are born from the sin in this world. But, we don’t need to carry them all by ourselves. We have communities: friends, blog readers (y’all), pastors, family members (some), but most of all we have a willing Jesus who already has born all of our sorrows and will continue to do so until He returns – (then we won’t have any because we’ll be perfect) – as He intercedes for us next to the throne of the Father. This is such a reassuring thought!
2. “How is it possible for the purpose of God to be at the heart of all this? How can Isaiah say – however reverently – that God is in control of it all, that it “was the will of the Lord to crush Him” (pg 140). This is an important doctrinal lesson to know and believe. If you can’t believe this fact – that God the Father was in charge of the darkest moment of history – then why would you believe that God is in charge of the darkest moments of your life?
3. “Our Lord’s outward posture here is expressive of the passion within” (pg 144). Though this quote is not talking about musical worship – I think the same principle applies. If we are passionate about God within – won’t we come to worship and participate in worship in an outward manner? That may mean different things like singing with a smile on our faces – singing loudly and expressively. It may mean getting on our knees or lifting our hands as far they can go and not caring about who sees (and also not being distracted by those who choose to worship in this manner). It may mean lifting our hands in prayer giving up our private worship to the God who sees. It will look different for different people – but we are all worshipers.
4. “All three persons would always be involved in everything God was doing. The Father would plan salvation, the Son would come to procure it, and the Spirit would be sent to apply it” (pg 144). Another important doctrine is the one of the Trinity. We can’t forget one of the persons of the Trinity in the work of salvation. I’ve learned a lot of this from Dr. Bruce Ware, a professor at SBTS, a gentle, humble, and brilliant father, husband, professor, and author. Our prayer life will change when we learn and love this doctrine. Our prayers of thanksgiving will change when we know and live this doctrine. Our corporate will worship will change when we see the magnificence of all the persons of the Trinity.
5. “My soul is overwhelmed” (pg 146). Jesus was a vulnerable Savior. He didn’t hide His true feelings. He was real with the disciples at the hardest moment of His life (up to this point). He wasn’t pithy or unreal with His disciples. He said He was overwhelmed. He ultimately knows that it is the will of His Father to crush Him – but He doesn’t hide His emotions (real, true, honest, not sinful) from those around Him. This is part of what makes Him the perfect Suffering Servant.
6. “It is this theology of the cross that we find here. God grant that in seeing Christ as the Suffering Servant we will be done once and for all with the superficial triumphalism that sadly emanates from too many Christian organizations and churches” (pg 155). How are you real and vulnerable with those in your church? How do you show compassion and true life with those in your church? Does everyone think you have it all together? I hope not. Because we are all sinners and have damaged lives but who are greatly redeemed by a compassioned Savior. Let us not diminish the work of Christ on the cross by having others think we have it all together.
Join me next week as we finish up the book! It’s been a great one for me!