Have you ever read Lamentations 3… as a description of Jesus on the Cross?
Isaiah 53 is a well known Easter reflection. Psalm 22 reads as though it was dictated from the cross. But I had never thought of Lamentations 3 as an Easter reflection before. Have you? After grabbing a cuppa this morning, I picked up my KJV Bible (my choice for today) and still yawning, snuggled back into bed to read. :) The page randomly opened to Lamentations 3. For various reasons, this is one of my favourite passages of Scripture. Today, however, I read it with fresh eyes.
My favourite Bible teacher, Dr Chuck Missler, advises us to ‘see Jesus on every page’. And that if we are having trouble understanding something in Scripture, to look for Jesus and put Him in the middle of it. He is there on every page. Sometimes overtly. Sometimes hidden. But He is there. Jesus said so Himself. It’s great advice. The Bible is the history book of the universe.
History = HIS story.
Lamentations 3 was written by the prophet Jeremiah at a time when his people, Israel, were going through terrible suffering and tragedy. Today, over the top of that, I could not get the image of Jesus suffering on the cross – paying for my sins, our sins – out of my mind as I was reading it and thinking about it. This Easter, I have been reflecting on how Jesus suffered, not only physically, which was horrendous, but also how the WRATH OF GOD was poured out on Him.
The wrath of God against sin.
His own wrath.
It was being poured out on Himself.
God was paying the penalty of death for my punishment – our punishment.
So we didn’t have to go through that.
We have NO idea what that means.
Can you see Him in here, too?
Lamentations 3:1- 46 I am the man that has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He has led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light. Surely against me is he turned; he turns his hand against me all the day. My flesh and my skin has he made old; he has broken my bones. He has built against me, and compassed me with gall and travail. He has set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old. He has hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he has made my chain heavy. Also when I cry and shout, he shuts out my prayer. He has enclosed my ways with hewn stone, he has made my paths crooked. He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places. He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he has made me desolate. He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow. He has caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins. I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day. He has filled me with bitterness, he has made me drunk with wormwood. He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he has covered me with ashes. And you have removed my soul far off from peace: I have forgotten prosperity. And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sits alone and keeps silence, because he has borne it upon him. He puts his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope. He gives his cheek to him that smites him: he is filled full with reproach. For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth, To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High, To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approves not. Who is he that says, and it comes to pass, when the Lord commands it not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceeds not evil and good? Wherefore does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. We have transgressed and have rebelled: you have not pardoned. You have covered with anger, and persecuted us: you have slain, you have not pitied. You have covered yourself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through. You have made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people. All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 52:14 As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures. And that he was buried; and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures.
He is not here. Everyone body else is… but HE is RISEN!
And this is the Gospel – the GOOD NEWS!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
That’s me. That’s YOU. Wow!!!
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