“The Wounded Warrior”
Isaiah 53:3-5 (READ)
When the Son of God came to earth, he surprised a lot of people. His life was marked by humility. He came as a baby, born in a manger. God’s son lying in a cattle stall. Royalty born in poverty. From the time he was born until the day he died, he was always doing things differently than people expected. He refused to follow the script. He was a man on a mission – but the mission was one few could understand.
Jesus Christ taught us how to love like no man has ever loved. He was full of compassion. He continuously extended grace when others were casting guilt. No one was hopeless. Every life mattered. He loved the prostitute as much as he loved the preacher. He said, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save those who were lost.” And that is what he did. He sought ought the lonely. The hurting. The destitute. The forgotten ones. The guilty. The hopeless. The rejects of society. And his love transformed them. Everywhere he went, Jesus changed lives.
But his methods were unorthodox. People kept trying to squeeze him into a mold, and he was unwilling. He had obvious power. He could heal the sick. The deaf, the blind, the crippled, the diseased – it seemed his power was limitless. He performed miracles – he calmed a storm, turned water into wine, cast out demons – even raised the dead. But then he would confuse everyone after these awesome displays of power by saying things like, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He claimed to be the Messiah, but about the time you’d expect him to put on a crown and take the throne, he’d pick up a towel and a bowl and wash his disciple’s feet.
At what seemed to be the very height of his popularity, he rode into Jerusalem as the crowd shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Just when it seemed his moment had arrived, he defied logic again, and a few days later the crowd was watching the “King of the Jews” hang on a Roman cross until he died. It seemed like such a waste. In many people’s minds, if Jesus could have just “gotten his act together” he could have been the leader they were all waiting for. Humility, love, and all this power. The Jews were looking for more power and less humility and love.
They wanted fewer parables and more politics. They didn’t want a Savior, they wanted a deliverer. They wanted a warrior; they got what seemed to be a wimp. He wouldn’t play by their rules, so they crucified him. They called him a blasphemer, put him on trial, beat him up, made fun of him for a couple of days and killed him. It was that simple. He didn’t even put up a fight. When they leveled false accusations against him, he kept his mouth shut. The man who had more power than any man who ever lived went to his death as if he were powerless.
What they didn’t realize was, that Jesus was fighting all the way to the cross. He was just fighting things no one could see. The cross was the most courageous display of power and love the world has ever known. Jesus Christ was no wimp. He died as the Wounded Warrior Isaiah the Prophet spoke about. When it looked like he had given up, he was really engaged in the Battle of the Ages. He did not hang on the cross in defeat, but in victory. The people standing around on Golgotha saw a dead religious leader whose followers had scattered, but the man who hung there was a Conqueror. The Savior of the World. The Redeemer. The Wounded Warrior who fought all the forces of hell for our freedom. Let me describe the details of the battle…