Thou, ah! Thou, hast taken on Thee
Bonds and stripes, a cruel rod;
Pain and scorn were heaped upon Thee,
O Thou sinless Son of God!
Thus didst Thou my soul deliver
From the bonds of sin forever.
Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,
Dearest Jesus, unto Thee.
(LSB 420 st. 2)
“I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.”
With sharp detail, Isaiah gives to us a prophetic image, not about himself nor about someone in his own time, but someone yet to come although he was from the beginning—Jesus of Nazareth, God’s chosen servant to bring about deliverance. Thus He, although He was born without original sin and committed no sin of His own, was treated as the greatest of sinners. He was struck, He had his beard pulled out, He was disgraced and spat on.
Why? For you. Because of the sins of which all of us are guilty, both that which we are born with and those that we daily commit, we deserve to be the one struck, spat on, disgraced. We deserve, as we confess in the Divine Service, temporal and eternal punishment for our sins. But Christ bore our sins, suffered, died in our place, making full atonement for our sins, giving us true forgiveness from the Father. And He rose on the third day that we may be justified, that we may be made right with God.
Let us pray: Dear Father, this Lent we come before You with true repentance and beg forgiveness for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who bore what we deserved; through His name we pray. Amen.
(Raymond Doubrava, Sem IV)