My Dad loves to ask the question, "Which holiday is more important--Easter or Christmas?" Now, its not about the Bunny vs. Santa. Its a question, of which of God's acts touches you more--the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross followed by the saving miracle of resurrection or the Incarnation--God being with us in flesh.
I love that question, and my answer always surprises people. To me, the part of Christianity that boggles my mind is that God CHOSE to come and be with us. To walk with us. To be a part of this broken world. In my logic (as flawed as it is), without Christmas--without Christ being PART of our world, there would be no Easter. To me, there must have been as much pain in the stable that night--in Christ being "separated" from God--in Jesus coming to be born in a stable--than there was on the cross. Maybe its just my poetic license. I don't know.
But as I read Isaiah 53, I see Jesus. I see Jesus like me. When I hurt--when someone hurts my feelings, when I am sick, when I have tough choices to make, I turn here.
Surely he has bourne our infirmities and carried our diseases, yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
When I don't feel good enough, when I feel like everyone else is prettier, more eloquent, smarter, richer, I turn here.
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; as one from form others hide their faces. He was despised, and we held him of no account.
And when I suffer, I remember he suffered first. Yet he did not open his mouth. When I think there is no hope and all is dark, I remember that out of his anguish he shall see light. And when I wonder if all my sacrifices are worth anything in the end, I remember that therefore I will allot him a portion with the great and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out himself to death and was numbered with the transgressors.
I love this picture of a God who loves me enough to suffer. A God who suffers with me, for me, and in spite of me. Who suffers because I suffer and who suffers from my hand. This is the picture of God's strength and love that is bigger than I can ever imagine. I am so thankful. So thankful.