Summary: The goal of this sermon is to enable people to look to Christ to overcome rejection.

Do You See What I See?

Do You See What Isaiah Saw?

Isaiah 53

December 14, 2003


A. ["In Love and War": Ernest Hemingway’s Pride, Citation: In Love and War (New Line Cinema, 1996), written by Henry S. Villard, directed by Richard Attenborough and James Nagel]

(Elapsed time: Measured from the beginning of the opening credit, this scene begins at 01:46:50 and ends at 01:49:00. Content: In Love and War is rated PG-13 for sensuality and graphic portrayal of war injuries.)

The movie In Love and War is based on the WWI experiences of author Ernest Hemingway. The 18-year-old Hemingway (Chris O’Donnell) is a Red Cross volunteer in Italy just before the end of the war. While stationed there, he meets, falls in love with, and proposes to Red Cross nurse Agnus von Kurowsky (Sandra Bullock). But Agnus, unbeknownst to Hemmingway, accepts a marriage proposal from an Italian doctor after Hemingway returns to America. When Hemingway finds out, he is brokenhearted. Agnus later cancels the wedding, realizing she really loves Hemingway.

Agnus travels to Hemingway’s lakeside cottage to declare her love for him. As they stand on the veranda, Hemingway, bitter over Agnus’ previous rejection of him, turns his back on her. He says nothing. Agnus slides next to him and declares, "I’ll love you as long as I live." But Hemingway does not reciprocate. Instead, he walks into the cottage, bangs his hand on the table in frustration, and covers his eyes in anguish. Agnus sadly walks away.

Agnus narrates the film’s conclusion:

I never saw Ernie again after Waloon Lake. I often wonder what might have happened if he had taken me in his arms. But I guess his pride meant he wasn’t able to forgive me. Some say he lived with the pain of it all his life. The hurt boy became the angry man. A brilliant, tough adventurer who was the most famous writer of his generation. And the kid, who had been, eager, idealistic, and tender, lived on only in my heart.

Hemingway married four times and took his life in 1961.

B. The spirit of rejection can be a powerful thing.

1. It can lead us to do all kinds of things we wouldn’t normally do.

2. We’ve all felt its torture in some form or other.

3. Isaiah correctly prophesied that Jesus would be rejected and despised.

4. Let’s see if we can see what Isaiah saw.

I. Christ suffered rejection

Isaiah 53:1-3 (NIV), Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 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.

Matthew 21:42 (NIV), Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "’The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone ; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

Mark 8:31 (NIV), He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.

Mark 9:12 (NIV), Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected?

Luke 17:25 (NIV), But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

Mark 15:34 (NIV), And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

A. Isaiah correctly prophesied that Christ would be despised and rejected.

1. He prophesied that Christ would have no beauty or majesty to attract people to Him.

2. He prophesied that He would be despised and rejected by men.

3. He prophesied that He would be a man of sorrows, that Jesus would experience suffering, that men would hide their faces from Him.

B. And as we read the NT, we see that what Isaiah saw was exactly right.

1. Jesus kept insisting that He would suffer and be rejected.

2. And certainly when Christ was on the cross, He felt rejection!

a. The Pharisees capped a three-year pursuit of Him by getting Him convicted and sentenced to death in a sham of a trial.

b. He was beaten by a cat-of-nine-tails within an inch of his life, He had a mock crown or thorns thrust into His head, He was crucified, which was death by torture, and while on the cross, He even felt that His Heavenly Father had rejected him and He cried out in anguish, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

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