“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. But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.” -Isaiah 55:6-7
Every year, Holy Week provides us an opportunity to follow Jesus’s final week before His death on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter. The Bible provides much insight as to the mindset and attitude of Jesus in what was a week of anguish for Him. This messianic passage from the prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse into how Jesus dealt with the abuse that he was about to endure.
The word choice in the beginning of the passage is important. Jesus was in no way subdued by His enemies. Rather, He gave His back and His cheeks. He chooses not to hide His face. Jesus had all power and authority to leave Jerusalem, cast off His oppressors or come down from the cross. Yet, He chose to undergo it all.
Such restraint and endurance might seem impossible for us, but it is. Jesus chose not to rely on His own strength. Rather, He turns to the Father for reassurance. This avenue is open to us as well, achieved through the very work that Jesus accomplished on the cross. Ultimately, Jesus’s death is not merely an example for us to follow, but the sacrifice that allows us to follow it.
Almighty God, who gives us the strength to endure whatever trials we may face, we thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to open the door for us to approach You. We pray that You give us the strength to imitate Him. We ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen.
Passage for Further Reading:
Isaiah 55:5-11; Mark 15:1-39
About the Author:
Walker Haynes is a senior at the University of Chicago. He is a staff writer for Cana, a leader with Cru and FCA, and coaches the UChicago football team.