Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Will you look?
"And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him."
I looked up the word "esteem" and it basically means respect. He was despised, hated, and we didn't respect Him. We couldn't even look at Him.
As I'm working through this passage with my daughters, I got stuck on this verse - what does that first line mean? What does it mean to be a person that men hide their faces from? That's a strange line.
At first glance, I was thinking that often people turn their faces from a particularly deformed person - maybe like the elephant man or a face with horrible acne. Then naturally my mind went to the great disfigurement that happened while Jesus was scourged. Is this what the author is talking about? We turned our face from looking at His crucifixion because He was so disfigured?
But I don't think that's it.
I just got home from speaking at a local Christian high school's chapel. It's not a long talk - only about 15 minutes, and for those who know me, I am hardly started at the fifteen minute mark. So I had to be short and sweet.
Most of the girls were very receptive, but there are those who "hide their face" when I teach. They don't make eye contact. When I ask questions, they shift behind a head in front of them so I won't call on them.
This is what I think the passage is talking about - Jesus was the light of the world, but men loved darkness rather than light. They shifted their gaze because they didn't like His message. His words cut to the heart and they were convicted by His presence. So they hid their faces - they didn't make eye contact. Jesus was despised - He was hated for the message He brought and we didn't have enough respect to even look at Him while He talked.
I can remember asking my mom if I could sit with friends during church - I was probably in seventh grade. She said yes, but make sure I was looking at the pastor during the sermon - it would be disrespectful to have your head down (drawing or writing notes or snoozing...). Now I get it.
We hid our faces from Him, despised Him and disrespected Him.
I love Isaiah - he nails it on the head. He doesn't say "You despised Him" - he says "we."
This is our sin. We have to own it. When we look at Jesus, we see His holiness and it shines a light on our sin. Are you willing to look at Jesus today? Oh dear friend, lift your head, remove your hands and look upon the suffering Savior and cry out in victory! Because He doesn't suffer today - He intercedes...
Isaiah 53 is a great one to meditate on...