Isaiah 50 – Spitting Image

Isaiah 50 Bible with Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Espresso Beans
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Today’s ChocolateEndangered Species Dark Chocolate with Espresso Beans

Today’s PassageIsaiah 50

There’s a lot of good stuff in this chapter about the Suffering Servant. So I hope you’ll forgive me that I spent the past hour doing something incredibly silly. See, there’s a couple of lines from verse two that jumped out at me: “Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke, I make the rivers a wilderness.” I read those and thought back to the recurring themes of dehydration and thirst-quenching, desert and river, throughout Isaiah. I said to myself: “Man, God just brings water to the desert, takes it away, brings water to the desert, takes it away…” And I had an idea.

Animated God with light switch controlling rivers in the desert from Isaiah 50

Certain other verses brought different, less silly connections to mind. Consider the words of the Servant: “I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting” (50:6). I immediately thought of Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ, getting his back turned into hamburger by Roman soldiers in the flogging scene. And the last line of Isaiah 50:6 sent me looking in the gospels for the word “spit,” which dug up two relevant instances. When the Jewish religious leaders put Jesus on trial for blasphemy, we have the following abuse: “Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, ‘Prophesy!'” (Mark 14:65). When they hand Jesus over to Roman forces, the solders get their spits in too: “They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him.” (Mark 15:19). His beard survives intact, but by Mark’s account, Jesus cuts the figure of Isaiah’s Suffering Servant nearly word for word.

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