“The Son of Man must suffer many things…” – (Luke 9:22)
At the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Nation of Israel was in desperation. They were overburdened with taxation, and their rights were significantly diminished. They believed that the scepter had been taken from them because of the deep oppression of the Roman Government. But, they were waiting for Shiloh to come to restore them (Genesis 49).
Shiloh is believed to mean “He whose it is” and is a Messianic title. The Nation of Israel was ready for a hero. They were prepared for someone to come and save them. They were prepared for the Messiah to come.
Messiah did come, and many missed Him. They missed Him because their view of the Savior was off. They were looking for the man who would eliminate the Romans and restore the promises given to them. They were looking for the “saber-rattling enemy-destroying leader.” And, as a result of their wrong view of the Savior, they did not place their trust in Jesus.
Jesus shared that He must die. And He had to show payment for our sins and His power and authority over death. He paved the way so that we might be able to live in eternity with Him in heaven. And that can only happen when we see Him as our Savior and accept Him as such through a confession of faith.
In Isaiah 53, we see the picture of the suffering servant. It paints the image of a “hero” that suffered and died that others might live. It portrayed the figure of Jesus. Genuine Christ-followers see this as describing Jesus the Messiah correctly. In Acts 8, it is the very scripture that brought the Ethiopian to salvation in Jesus.
It is in our nature to associate with those we see as winners. The popular and charismatic. We tend to shy away from those we see as losers. This is the very reason the Bible tells us not to lean on our own understanding. Our Savior, Jesus, is strong and powerful. He defeated death and counts us in that victory when we accept Him into our hearts!
“Christians have fallen into the habit of accepting the noisiest and most notorious among them as the best and the greatest. They too have learned to equate popularity with excellence. In open defiance of the Sermon on the Mount, they have given their approval not to the meek but to the self-assertive; not to the mourner but to the self-assured; not to the pure in heart who see God but to the publicity hunter who seeks headlines!”
– A.W. Tozer