Weekend Bible Study
Theme of the Week: Holy Week: Choosing the Cross
Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Written centuries before Jesus came to earth, Isaiah 53 is an amazing, prophetic account of his suffering. Here is God's plan revealed for humanity's salvation through the sacrifice of his Son. Why would God come up with such a plan? Because humanity's sin and rebellion had to be paid for. Because God loved us so much that he was willing to let his Son suffer and die the cruelest of deaths for our sins. Unfathomable. But true nevertheless: "He was wounded for the wrong we did; he was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to him, and we are healed because of his wounds" (Isa. 53:5, NCV).
- If you were going to create a "job description" for a heroic Messiah, what would be on it? What would be some of his essential qualities?
- Read the chapter twice and then jot down several characteristics of this coming Savior. How is this person similar to or different than the Savior you described in the first question?
- According to verse 10, what was God's plan for this coming Savior? How have you benefited from this plan? (See vv. 11 and 12.)
- Using a Bible or digital resource with cross references, look up several New Testament passages to see how the prophecies of Isaiah 53 were fulfilled.
Key Study Passage:
Spend Time in Prayer: Thank God the Son for his willingness to suffer and die for your sins. Pray about your church's Easter service, asking God to use it to bring nonbelievers to him and to deepen your understanding of Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection.
53 Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
2 My servant grew up in the Lord's presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God's paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.
7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man's grave.
Prayer for the Week
Thank you, suffering Redeemer, for paying the price for my sin. ... And through me, in some small or large way today, bring your priceless redemption to others.—Michael Card
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