Summary: The darkness of life can overwhelm us. Jesus shatters our darkness, for he has taken our place and endured all for us. Parts: A. How willingly your Savior suffered! B. How innocent he is! C. Lean on him in the darkness.

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Text: Isaiah 50:4-10

Theme: "I Have Endured All for You"

A. How willingly your Savior suffered!

B. How innocent he is!

C. Lean on him in the darkness

Season: Pentecost 17b

Date: September 20, 2009

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Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Word from God through which our Savior, Jesus Christ, speaks to us is Isaiah 50

"The Lord God has given me a skilled tongue to know how to comfort the afflicted with words. Morning by morning he awakens -- he awakens my ear to skillfully hear. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I did not rebel. I did not turn back. I gave my back to the beaters, my cheek to those who tore out my beard. I did not hide my face from insults and spit. And the Lord God helps me, therefore I was not confounded. Therefore I set my face like flint, and I know that I will not be put to shame. The One who justifies me is near. Who can take me to court? Let us stand up together. Who is the prosecutor against me? Let him approach me. Behold, the Lord God helps me. Who is it that can condemn me? Behold, they all wear out like old clothing. Moths eat them away.

"Whoever among you fears the Lord, listening to his Servant’s voice, who walk in darkness without any light, let him trust in the name of the Lord and lean on his God." (Isaiah 50:4-10)

Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:

How the words of Psalm 23 echoed in their hearts! "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23:4 KJV). How dark that valley seemed as their tear-blurred eyes stared at the two caskets!

It had been summer vacation. A family camping trip. The two girls laughing down by the stream bed. Suddenly a violent rumbling and rushing. A flash flood. Then silence. No more laughter. Dead silence. What darkness for that mom and dad, losing their two children!

Darkness comes in many forms: death, disease, disability, depression, disappointment, doubt. In addition, loss of friends, financial woes, missed opportunities, unrewarded effort, the shallowness of life can leave us wallowing in darkness, not knowing which way to turn. Who of us hasn’t experienced feelings of hopelessness, futility, and rejection? And what about the darkness when others attack the very source of our light, rejecting our Savior and ridiculing our efforts to follow him, or when our own weakness of faith makes the light seem so dim?

What darkness have you stumbled through? What darkness might unexpectedly flood over you in the days ahead? Maybe you came here this morning longing for some light in the darkness.

Take heart, dear friend, for the Savior’s words shine out to you. He calls out into your darkness promising, "I have endured all for you." Let’s see how true those words are and how they shatter into our darkness.

A. How willingly your Savior suffered!

1. Describe the love that moved our Savior to such willing obedience.

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