There’s a Christmas album that my family and I love to listen to every Advent season. It’s called Behold the Lamb of God, and it’s produced and performed by Andrew Peterson and many of his friends. It’s a musical journey through the themes of the Old Testament leading up to and culminating in the birth of Jesus Christ.
In one song Andrew Peterson sings a song called “So Long, Moses.” It’s a song that covers the time of the book of Joshua up to the Old Testament prophets. It spans the trials and sins of Israel as they eagerly look for a mighty King to come, to rescue and to establish them in the land.
As the song builds you get the sense that Israel almost gives up waiting for the king. Saul, David, Solomon and then a series of failures leading up to the Babylonian captivity leave the people disillusioned and broken. Yet, they ask Isaiah the prophet, who saw in a vision from God what would happen after the time of their captivity,
So speak, Isaiah / Prophet of Judah / Can you tell of the One / This king who’s going to come? / Will he be a king on a throne / Full of power with a sword in his fist? ‘ Prophet, tell us will there be another king like this? / Full of wisdom, full of strength / The hearts of the people are his / Prophet, tell us will there be another king like this?
You feel the desperation of the people in those words. Isaiah responds in the song,
He’ll bear no beauty or glory / Rejected, despised / A man of such sorrow / We’ll cover our eyes. / He’ll take up our sickness / Carry our tears / For his people / He will be pierced / He’ll be crushed for our evils / Our punishment feel / By his wounds / We will be healed.
Our journey this week through Scripture has revealed the way of God – the way of salvation and the way to paradise. For us to get there, for us to have the perfect King ruling over all this earth, for us to be saved, the King had to suffer and be crushed for our sins.
Think of the pain and suffering He endured for you.
Isaiah 53:4–6 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (ESV)
This year has been hard, revealing at times our worst, and revealing the utter helplessness of man to save himself. By default we want the crown but not the suffering. Jesus put aside His crown and endured the suffering in the place of lost and hopeless sinners.
When this winter seems dark, and when our plans seem to be dashed, remember Isaiah 53. The King put aside His rightful place on the throne, entered our dark world, and took on the sins of us sinners. Jesus knows what it is like to experience pain, loss, suffering, and separation from God. He did these things so that our experience of them in this life could be redeemed, so our pain, loss and suffering would never be connected to separation from God. He is with us in our suffering right now, and by His wounds all our sins and griefs and brokenness will be ministered to and eventually… completely healed.
Here’s a link to the song “So Long, Moses” by Andrew Peterson.