Summary: Jesus wasn’t "attractive" enough to be elected president, let alone Savior. But why wasn’t Jesus desirable to the people of His day? What message did He preach that the masses reject Him?
OPEN: How many of you have noticed that there’s a Presidential election coming up? (This met with a certain amount of laughter). Just a few weeks ago, the Republican Party - and then the Democratic Party - had their political conventions where they officially nominated their candidate.
There was a great deal of planning went into each gatherings.
There was a lot of pomp and ceremony. Balloons, confetti and music. The stadiums were chosen with great care. And with a rare exception or two… everything was scripted.
Each event was carefully orchestrated to give the impression of professionalism.
Each event was staged to show their candidate as being the most attractive, the most likable, the most electable.
It would have been truly a disaster to have invested all that money and effort into their conventions only to come away having their candidate being perceived as someone who was:
· And generally unlikable.
But that was what Jesus was. Isaiah 53 tells us:
“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.”
Now, there are those who believe that this passage is implying that Jesus was to be physically unattractive. And that may have been the case. But I’m more inclined to believe that Isaiah was referring to the point in Christ’s ministry where people viewed Him as undesirable.
The fact of the matter is: Jesus would never have been elected President of the USA. He just wouldn’t be popular enough. He wasn’t popular in the days of His ministry in Judea, and He wouldn’t be popular enough now.
Now, that wasn’t ALWAYS true. After Jesus fed the 5000 with 5 small barley loaves and 2 fish… John 6:15 tell us: “Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.”
And when Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time before His crucifixion… the crowds had the same idea: Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" "Hosanna in the highest!" Mark 11:8-10
These people saw Jesus as perfect earthly leader. He was a man of power and decisiveness. He could feed thousands with just a small amount of food. He could heal the sick with the touch of His hand, and raise the dead with the command of His voice.
Not only was the perfect earthly leader of a nation, He was the just the man to help Israel overthrow the hated Roman empire and place Israel as a nation to be reckoned with.
But just few days after this “Palm Sunday” event… just about everybody hated Jesus. And the crowds cried out “Crucify Him! Crucify Him”
Why the change?
Why were those who were so excited about Him just days before now calling for His death?
Well, part of the change was because He didn’t give people what they wanted. Instead, Jesus insisted on telling people things that they NEEDED to hear. Things that they DIDN’T want to hear.
And what was that message?
It was the same message then as it is today: You (and I) are sinners.
And you can see that message all the way through Isaiah 53
· He was pierced for OUR TRANSGRESSIONS
· Crushed for OUR INIQUITIES
· He came to bear OUR SINS
· He was punished to bring us peace.
Isaiah 53:6 sums it up by saying “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
You and I are sinners.
We’ve chosen to go our own way.
Like Sheep… we’ve all gone astray.
We have chosen to go OUR own way – not God’s way
And because we chose to seek our own path rather than His, God says our hearts are filled with iniquity. The word for iniquity here is “crookedness” or “warpedness”. We’ve chosen our own way so long that God says we’ve developed a warpedness in our character.
And because of that warpedness, we don’t think the way we ought to think. And so we end up not acting the way we ought to act.
And this is not the first time Scripture has made this indictment against us.
In Job 15:14 it says "What is man, that he could be pure, or one born of woman, that he could be righteous?” (It’s inconceivable!)