November 7, 2017 • Life for Leaders
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
When we read this passage from Isaiah 53, we immediately think of the crucifixion of Jesus, and for good reason. He was literally pierced, punished, and wounded. Even more painful, Jesus experienced alienation from his Heavenly Father when he took our sin upon himself. He entered into the “Hell” that comes when people reject God, even though he never did that himself.
How might we respond to what Jesus has done for us as the Suffering Servant of God? Gratitude is the beginning. When we realize that Jesus suffered for our sake, our hearts fill with thanksgiving. Truly, the Christian life is one, long expression of thanks to the Lord for his magnificent mercy.
Another response to the one who was broken so we could be whole is to embrace our wholeness. We no longer have to live as broken people—spiritually, emotionally, relationally. Although we will not experience complete wholeness this side of the age to come, through Christ, we can begin the process of healing now. We do so by asking for the Lord’s help, laying our struggles and sins before him. We embrace our wholeness by refusing to let our fears and prejudices keep us from becoming all that the Lord envisions us to be.
The wholeness Jesus offered is not just for our private and personal lives. It enables us to begin to live as new people wherever we are, including our workplaces. For example, as people who have been forgiven by the Lord, we can offer forgiveness when we are wronged by our colleagues, rather than seeking to get even. Or, as those who have begun to enjoy the peace of Christ, we can help our places of work to reflect the shalom of God. The wholeness we receive from Jesus is something to be shared with others, even as we invite them to accept this wholeness for themselves.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Have you expressed your gratitude to the Lord for suffering so that you might be whole?
How have you embraced your wholeness in Christ?
Where would you like to experience more of his wholeness today?
How might you embody the wholeness of Jesus in your work today?
Lord Jesus, how I thank you for being the Suffering Servant of God, the one who was beaten so that I could be whole. Your sacrifice makes all the difference in the world to me. It gives me a chance that I would never have without you. Through you, I can begin to live as a whole person, even as I await the fullness of the new creation that is yet to come. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your sacrifice for me.
Help me to live in the wholeness you offer. May I not be satisfied with a broken life. Where I sin, may I confess and receive your forgiveness. Where I am wounded, may I be open to all the ways you want to heal me. Where my relationships are dysfunctional, may your Spirit bring a new level of wholeness. Help me, Lord, to embody your wholeness in every part of life: in my work, my family, my community, and my church.
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, Servant of God, for you are the source of my wholeness! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: The Suffering Glory of the Servant Isaiah
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.