What if the “Suffering Servant” Had Not Come?


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Isaiah prophesied that the Suffering Servant will “make an offering for guilt” (Isaiah 53:10).  This prophecy was surpassed by Jesus’s words from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). “It is finished” was the goal, and is now the fulfillment, of “he will make an offering for guilt.” And Jesus himself is that offering.

What would be our lot if Jesus had not come though? What realities and beauties and graces we live in would become untrue? What would we not know if he had not come?

On the one hand, it’s an impossible question. The whole universe is in him, through him, and for him (Colossians 1:16). Without him, everything comes apart. But on the other hand, it can help us appreciate his coming to consider some of the numerous individual blessings owing directly to it. Which are some of the most important truths in all the world and throughout all time.

  1. If Jesus had not come, we would not know God’s complete faithfulness. We would not know the fulfillment of every last promise, including the very first one he made: that an offspring of Eve would crush the head of our great adversary, Satan (Genesis 3:15).
  2. If Jesus had not come, we would not know the fullness of God’s love. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13), and “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
  3. If Jesus did not come, we would not know the depths of God’s humility and compassion toward us. According to Hebrews 2:17, Jesus “had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” Jesus was made like us in every respect — he took on all of our weaknesses and temptations and sufferings. And he did it that he might be a more merciful advocate for us.
  4. Finally, if Jesus did not come, we would not know his atoning death and life-giving resurrection, and thus we would not know our own salvation. There would be no salvation for sinners. “If while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).

Seeing and enjoying Jesus as the incomparable Son of God, and the embodiment of his greatest blessings, is the only true way to have him.

This is the most urgent item on the agenda today and every day. May God give you fresh eyes to see and enjoy the Son, and the grace to keep seeing and enjoying him with ever-increasing clarity, joy, and awe.

Adapted from an article by Tyler Kenny

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