Online shopping has taught us to be very careful about reading descriptions. Size, color, texture, weight, and even other people’s reviews are all helpful as we are trying to discern what a product is actually like. If you have ever ordered something without paying attention to the description, this may have been part of the learning curve for you. It was for me! In the beginning of the pandemic, I panic-ordered hand sanitizer from an unfamiliar source and failed to look at the description closely. Where the picture (and the price!!) was indicative of a large bottle that would sit by your kitchen sink for family use, the actual product was a very expensive pocket-sized container. Well, thank goodness I ordered two!
The scriptures are full of descriptions of Jesus. John 3:16 gives the most concise description: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (I did that from memory … the King James Version was all the rage when this kid was in Sunday School. Truth be told, it was the only version we had in Sunday School.)
Reading the description makes us much more aware of the qualities and special aspects of the subject. I don’t think anyone would argue that some of the best descriptions of the Messiah come from the book of Isaiah. This Old Testament prophet had a working knowledge of the suffering servant that was yet to come. His description came with no reviews, as he was describing something that hadn’t happened yet. Unlike the eyewitness accounts of the Gospel writers, Isaiah only had prophetic visions to rely on … and yet he provided some of the most accurate and beautiful language about our Savior.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (Common English Bible)
It was certainly our sickness that he carried,
and our sufferings that he bore,
but we thought him afflicted,
struck down by God and tormented.
5 He was pierced because of our rebellions
and crushed because of our crimes.
He bore the punishment that made us whole;
by his wounds we are healed.
6 Like sheep we had all wandered away,
each going its own way, but the Lord let fall on him all our crimes.
Isaiah wrote that the coming Messiah would be pierced because of our rebellions. This savior would be crushed because of our sins. He would bear the punishment that made us whole. And praise God, by his wounds we would be healed. And that is exactly what happened on the cross, when our suffering savior took the sin of the world upon himself, allowing us to be free. Even though we had all wandered away, our faithful savior paid for all our crimes.
This is something to ponder today. Who is Jesus to you? If you were to write a description of him, what would you say? How would you describe our Wonderful Counselor? I challenge you to actually write these words down in your Bible somewhere.
And when you’ve finished with your written list, write it again on your heart.
Weathered Star by Michelle Robertson