We all want to know what God’s plan is. We want to know what He’s doing so we can do it, too. God spoke through Isaiah and laid that plan out. He says that He’s had a plan since the beginning. It’s the same plan now as it was before Day One.
Isaiah 53 starts out by foretelling the agony that His Son will suffer for the sake of humanity. The first nine verses illustrate His rejection, grief, bruises, torn flesh, oppression and judgement. All horrific prophesy given by God and verse ten says it has always been His plan:
Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. -Isaiah 53:10
Do you ever wonder why God made the human race knowing that they would turn on Him? We have a free will, but God gave us that free will, therefore, it’s secondary to His will. He has a plan and we play our part in it. Free will and all.
God is not limited by sin, He uses it. You can get a better understanding of this when you consider how you came to a place where you knew you needed a savior. It was when you knew your sin. Need grew in the courtyard of knowledge and the thirsty plant of ‘need’ drank the rain it never noticed when it fell on the empty courtyard many times before. What good is ‘Living Water’ when there is no ‘thirst’?
God uses sin as a doorway to Him. His plan rigged the system to fail proof your life. You might consider that we are set up to fail. There is scriptural evidence to that effect:
In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in. -Romans 11:32
We think about God’s standards, make those His will and His plan goes completely over our heads. He has standards and He’s never backed away from them. His will is that you know Him and His plan works it out so that you have no way out of His way in.
He makes sure that you feel what it’s like to be on the wrong side of right because the only way you can get to Him is through Jesus. Jesus didn’t come to square dance with saints, He came to rescue sinners. He fulfills His purpose when He tells His Father that you’re righteous when we all know you’re not. The more the contrast, the more honor. God honors Jesus when He takes the failures under His wing. The less they are, the greater He is. In this way, the least become the greatest.
God uses sin to display His sovereignty. If sin is a certainty all by itself, then there is nothing new set loose by acknowledging the Truth about what God does through it. There is only freedom to be set free. If sin is free to terrorize, then God made it His slave. He made the worst become His biggest tool. He didn’t eliminate it, He put it to work.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him. -Isaiah 53:10
God is honored when the worst of men experience His life changing grace. The bigger the debt, the greater the gift and it’s all about the gift. You are not measured by how much you’ve achieved, you’re measured by how much you’ve received. God is not looking for your sin, He’s looking for His son.
I’ll reward him extravagantly— the best of everything, the highest honors—Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch, because he embraced the company of the lowest. He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many, he took up the cause of all the black sheep. -Isaiah 53:11-12
It’s not about you, it’s about Jesus. Jesus is rewarded ‘extravagantly’ when He embraces ‘the company of the lowest’ and takes ‘up the cause of all the black sheep.’
In light of that scripture, it doesn’t take much to figure out how to be like Jesus. Stick your neck out for those who the rest have washed their hands of. You might be rejected by your ‘brothers’, but you’ll be honoring God who honors Jesus who passes His honor on to you only to receive more honor for what He’s done for you. And they cycle continues to ‘life, life and more life.’
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. -Romans 8:31-34
Take up the cause of Jesus and embrace the worst, the lowest, the least, for Him. He’s in front of the Father ‘sticking up for them (us),’ so you stand in front of everyone else and stick up for them, too. Not because the person is innocent, but because the work of Jesus is ‘finished’. When you carry the weight of another person, you’re not doing it for them, you’re doing it to Him.
I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me. –Matthew 25:40