Summary: Few shoes are as iconic as Disney’s glass slipper. If you remember, Prince Charming is looking for the mysterious princess and Cinderella’s glass slipper leads him finally to her. For centuries people have read the ancient words of Isaiah 53 and wondered who wears “the glass slipper”?
William Holman Hunt worked on one painting for four years (media note: show Hunt’s photo on screens). On the roof of a house during an extended stay in Jerusalem, Hunt painted Jesus as a young man, working as a carpenter. In the painting, Jesus rises up to stretch, after sawing wood, with outstretched arms at the center of the portrait. Stripped to his waist and with his eyes looking toward the heavens above, the late afternoon sun casts a shadow upon the back wall showing a man hanging on a cross. The cross cast its shadow over Jesus for all of His days.
Why Did Jesus Christ Die? It was Judas who delivered Jesus to the priests. In turn, the priests delivered Him to Pilate and then, Pilate to the soldiers. Yet, all of this is above the surface for when we look below the surface, we discover that it was none other than God the Father who delivered up Jesus to the cross AND it was also Jesus, who voluntarily gave Himself up to die on the cross.
Introduction to Isaiah 53
To help us better understand what precipitated the first Easter I invite you to turn to Isaiah 53. The Bible says Jesus was ordinary in so many ways. It is Isaiah shows us Jesus Christ and how people were drawn to Him because of his eternal character not his external features (Isaiah 53:2). Yet, when Mel Gibson choose a character to play Jesus in the movie, The Passion of the Christ, he choose a man who People magazine would call the one of the sexiest men alive.
Now before I read Isaiah 53, let me prepare you for what you are about to hear. It’s often been referred to as the fifth gospel. This is a HUGE chapter in Scripture. Ask yourself as I read it, “Who is this Man?” I read you a document from 700 BC, tell me if you don’t see Jesus behind every syllable.
“Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— 15 so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. 1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 52:13–53:12)