He Was Despised and Rejected

This meditation is based on a passage for February 2, 2011 in the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Reflection and Question: Both Christians and Jews can make a compelling case for their candidate to fulfill Isaiah’s description of the Suffering Servant. The correspondence between Jesus’ troubles in Holy Week and this passage are striking, but so are the connections between the images here and the experience of the Jewish people throughout history. So, both Christians and Jews can claim the amazing beauty of Handel’s settings of these verses. Here are two that are favorites of mine: He Was Despised and All We Like Sheep Other sections of this text are set to music as well so check them out by searching on YouTube. What response does the Suffering Servant elicit from you?

Prayer: God of all power and love, our hearts stop at Isaiah’s portrait of Your faithful servant who is oppressed and afflicted for our sake. That pain can be Your holy will is a mystery to us and yet we are grateful for the bearing of our sin. Thanks. Amen.