"Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall..."

Bible Reading: Isaiah 51; 52; 53; 54:1-3 - Listen

"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not" (53:2-3).

Think about it. By the world's standards, Jesus was ugly. When he looked in the mirror, he couldn't find anything attractive about his appearance. Instead of experiencing acceptance and approval when people looked at him, he recognized rejection and disapproval in their stares. Those who are less blessed by worldly beauty can identify more closely with Jesus.

Not only did Jesus lack in good looks; he also lacked in worldly wealth and status. Instead of being "blessed," in human terms, with a life of ease, affluence and popularity, he lived a life of sorrow, suffering and rejection. Can we truthfully say that we want to be like Jesus?

In addition to the world's scorn and affliction, Jesus was crushed and afflicted by God, his own father. "Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring (you and me!) and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied..." (53:10).

God's purpose for Jesus' life involved great suffering and scorn. Jesus counted it a privilege to be a tool in the Father's hand that would display God's splendor and cause God's will to prosper. He was willing to suffer on earth, knowing that he would be satisfied when he reached his eternal home and knowing that his suffering was fulfilling God's purpose. Though his days on earth were short by human standards, his days were prolonged in heaven, where he continues to live and fulfill his purpose. May we have the same eternal perspective when we, and those we love, must endure crushing circumstances as part of God's will for our lives.