The last couple of weeks, we’ve been examining perspectives and how we see Jesus from a practical standpoint. We’ve seen the importance of looking at Jesus with the proper spiritual lenses, with a proper understanding of what He has accomplished, and your spiritual identity in Him.
Today, we will be transitioning into a tangental, but equally essential topic of belief — specifically belief on Jesus, and how to have truly powerful belief that leads to spiritual victory.
Join me today, as I’m excited to share this topic with you!
Belief… but What Kind?
When speaking to the average Christian, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t claim to believe in Jesus. It goes without saying that everyone who claims to be a Christian, also tacitly believes in Jesus. Yet, much like with the perspective issue which we looked at the last two weeks, the main issue is not the veracity of belief itself, but the foundation upon which it rests which is crucial.
To put it another way, the kind of belief that you have, is of supreme importance, and can determine victory or defeat. Just as how someone can hold a perspective of Jesus that robs them of power as we saw two weeks ago, it is also possible to believe on Jesus in a similar way.
Let me give you an example from my own past. As some of you may know, my younger years were riddled with various health issues. These were sicknesses and diseases which were impossible to ignore; very “in your face” kind of things.
As I came to know and understand more about Christ and what He accomplished on the cross, I was presented with an inescapable choice: did Jesus do what He said, or didn’t He?
Did Jesus truly take my sicknesses, diseases, infirmities, and sins on the cross as Isaiah 53 describes, or was I somehow excluded from His sacrifice?
While these questions may seem overly simple, they are actually the very heart of the issue at hand. Up until that point, I was just coasting through my spiritual life; never examining my faith or belief, never taking an honest look at what I really knew (or thought I knew) about the serious issues. Now however, things were crucial. Life or death was literally on the line, and the sad reality was that I had no clue at all, about what I truly believed or why.
It’s a sobering thing to come to the sudden realization that you have no real spiritual foundation for anything and had just been following along with the crowd because that’s what you’ve been told to think or believe.
It can also be quite frightening, especially when it comes to physical symptoms in your body. Never-the-less, I was forced to examine, and make a choice about the kind of belief that I truly had regarding Jesus Christ.
Who Believes the Report?
As I mentioned, Isaiah chapter 53 contains an important truth, and a question that each of us must personally answer. Let’s begin by reading Isaiah 53:1-4:
“1 Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”
Notice this vital question right in verse 1: Who has believed our report?
This pertinent question is the very same that I had to answer in my own personal life, and it’s the same for every one of us. Do you believe the report about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? Most Christians are quick to answer “yes” to that question; but sadly most people would deny what the proceeding verses actually report about Jesus’s accomplishments.
Take a look at what these verses are saying:
Jesus shall grow up as tender (young) plant. A young plant is initially hidden, and extremely vulnerable. When you consider a young plant, it is actually quite unviable for life. With the added condition of being a root from dry ground, that makes survival even more unlikely.
This perfectly describes Jesus’ arrival: Coming into this world as a completely helpless infant, to a conquered people, from a broken and impoverished family line. The point is that the situation looked impossible; things seemed hopeless, but the outcome was entirely unexpected.
Verse 3 continues that Jesus would be despised and rejected; there’s no doubt that this has already proven true and continues to be. Jesus was a man of sorrows, and this is referring to a specific time. As you read the entire previous chapter of Isaiah 52, and the following verses here in chapter 53, it becomes absolutely clear that there is one single event in view: the cross.
Jesus was a man of sorrow, suffering, and pain, specifically when all the suffering, sorrow, and pain was laid upon Him as He took our sin on the cross. He was despised and we gave Him no esteem.
Surely Jesus Did
Now look at verse 4… Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. And I encourage you to focus in on what this verse is saying. The very first word here is worth noting: Surely. The scriptures leave no room for doubt, and tell us on no uncertain terms that Jesus definitely carried our sufferings and pains. He took our sicknesses and diseases.
It’s interesting that the scriptures say “surely” there, perhaps because the Holy Spirit knew that this would be such an area of doubt for people. Knowing that Jesus bore your suffering, and made the complete payment for your redemption is quite literally the foundation of belief on Him.
Notice also that the scripture is specific in telling us that it us our griefs, our sorrows that Jesus bore; not His own. He did not go to the cross for His own sin; because He didn’t have any. It was our sin, our pain, and our suffering that He paid for.
This was one of the main points that I had to wrestle with in my mind, in order to experience success. Understanding that, yes, Jesus surely did take my sickness in His own body, and He also surely did pay for my redemption on the cross. Once I settled that in my soul, I then had a solid foundation (the finished work of Christ) upon which I could stand securely.
Join Me Again Next Week…
I invite you to meditate on the reality that regardless of what suffering and pain that you may be experiencing today, that Jesus has already taken it on the cross, and as I always like to say “There’s no reason for two people to pay for the same debt”
Since Jesus already carried your complete sin debt on the cross and made a complete payment, there’s no reason for you to continue to pay. Receive the complete redemption that Jesus paid for you to have.
I look forward to thriving with you again next week, as we continue exploring the key totally powerful belief, which rests in Jesus Christ.