Last night, I was reading Isaiah 53:10-12. Verse twelve goes like this: “Therefore, I will give him a portion among the great, And he will divide the spoils with the strong, Because he poured out his life unto death, And was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.”
While reading this particular passage, I got distracted (in a good way). I started wondering what the Jews in Isaiah’s time thought he meant. These people atoned for their sins by killing hundreds of thousands of animals each year. As Christians, we look at the phrase “He bore the sin of many” and think, “Duh, Isaiah’s obviously talking about Jesus.” But the Jews might have thought, “What the crap!?” (Yes, this is exactly what they thought. EXACTLY!)
Then, my brain went in another direction, wondering what it must have been like for those first Jewish Christians. Where Christians see Jesus in the OT, they could have seen just about anything. Then this fella Jesus shows up and says it’s his show. Holy! Freaking! Cow!
Anyway, I think it would have been amazing. Growing up in a culture that hopes and prays daily for a Messiah, probably believing that the Messiah will bring about political salvation, then **BANGO** Messiah comes on the scene. He’s not what you thought he would be, but he’s promising so much more than a political kingdom. What a shock. What a wonderful shock...hope fulfilled.
Not that following Jesus isn’t an adventure at any time in history, but just imagine being that close to the turning point. Getting in on the ground floor, if you will. Suddenly seeing the real meaning behind the words… Maybe that’s what heaven will be like.