Napoleon led a roaring and destructive career. He was at times brutal and without compassion. It is reported that after a certain victory over the Russian and Prussian armies he walked through the battlefield, turning over the dead bodies of French soldiers. "Small change," he said, "small change. One Parisian night will soon adjust these losses." Such brute callousness! But after being defeated at Waterloo in 1815, he was exiled to the island of St. Helena. There God gave him six years to reflect on his life. In his Memorial he wrote these words: "Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, His will confounds me. Between Him and whomever else in the world, there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I myself have found empires; but upon what do these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love; and to this very day millions would die for Him." He went on to say this about Jesus: "The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine, everything is above - everything remains grand, of a grandeur which overpowers."
Don't you want to see Jesus that way? To see in Him a grandeur that overpowers? The Church season of Lent began this week and as we observe this time of meditation and reflection on the cross of Christ in preparation for the celebration of the resurrection, we will be looking into several Old Testament texts that reveal wonderful and grand truths about Jesus. Over the next five weeks we will meditate on Isaiah's four Songs of the Servant and then David's Psalm 22.
This week we will consider the first of the Servant Songs. These prophetic songs amazingly describe our Savior nearly 750 years before He came! We have the advantage of looking back upon the life and work of Jesus, and perhaps as we reflect on this song today, we will see in Jesus a majesty and beauty that overpowers!
Read Isaiah 42:1-9 and use the questions below to help you meditate on this Song of the Servant.
1. According to verse 1, what does the Lord say about "my servant"? How does He describe Him?
* How would you describe the Lord's feelings for His servant (v. 1)?
* Can you think of an event in Jesus' life and ministry that echoes verse 1?
2. Still in verse 1, what will the servant do and what do you think that means?
3. In verses 2-3 what does God say about how the Lord's Servant will accomplish His mission?
* What do you think a "bruised reed" and a "faintly burning wick" represent?
* What does this tell you about the Lord's Servant? What kind of man is He?
* How do we see these qualities in the life and ministry of Jesus as recorded in the gospels?
* Read Matthew 12:15-21. Does this add to your understanding of how the Lord's Servant accomplished His mission?
4. Verse 3 again mentions the Servant's mission. What is it?
5. What do you learn about the Lord's Servant and His mission in verse 4?
6. What does God say about His Servant in verses 5-9? What will God do? What will His servant do?
7. What is the important but unpopular lesson in verse 8? How might you put that in your own words?
8. Think for a few moments about Jesus. How do you think He fulfilled this prophetic song written about Him? And how did He establish justice in the world?
9. What stands out to you about what the Lord reveals in this passage about Jesus?
10. Does this passage help you have a more grand view of Jesus? If so, how? If not, why not?
May the Lord meet you in a special way this Lenten season! And I hope to see you on Sunday!