Monday within the Octave of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord
Scripture: Isaiah 52-54 (NKJV)
52:1 Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no longer come to you.
2 Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!
3 For thus says the LORD: “You have sold yourselves for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.”
4 For thus says the Lord GOD: “My people went down at first into Egypt to dwell there; Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
5 “Now therefore, what have I here,” says the LORD, “That My people are taken away for nothing? Those who rule over them make them wail,” says the LORD, “And My name is blasphemed continually every day.
6 “Therefore My people shall know My name; Therefore they shall know in that day that I am He who speaks: ‘Behold, it is I.'”
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, with their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye when the LORD brings back Zion.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem! For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the LORD.
12 For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight; For the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14 Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider.
53:1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked—but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
54:1 “Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,” says the LORD.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.
3 “For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.
4 “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
5 “For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.
6 “For the LORD has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,” says your God.
7 “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you.
8 “With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the LORD, your Redeemer.
9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
10 “For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
11 “O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires.
12 “I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal, and all your walls of precious stones.
13 “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.
14 “In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.
15 “Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.
16 “Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work; And I have created the spoiler to destroy.
17 “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the LORD.
Isaiah speaks one of the clearest prophecies of Christ: “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” There is no greater truth we can know than that which Isaiah prophesied with these words. We make a mistake if we think only that God and man were separated, but with God becoming man in Christ Jesus, that fixes everything. No, the Person of Christ also has saving work to do: the God-man must be wounded, bruised, chastised, crucified; all so that the righteous demand of divine justice may be fulfilled and the price of every sin must be perfectly paid.
Jesus has indeed done this for us. He has not only become man, but He has paid the price that was owed on account of our sin. Our bodies still suffer sickness, weakness, and death, but such is the nature of life in this fallen world. Nevertheless, on account of our Lord’s holy, innocent, bitter suffering and death all of this will ultimately give way to healing. Our perishable will give way to the imperishable; our mortality will give way to immortality. In Baptism we have been baptized into His death and raised to new life. Indeed, we have received perfect healing, even as we have been perfectly united to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.
We pray: Most merciful heavenly Father, we thank You that You have sent Your Son to bear our sin, and be our Savior. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may cling to Jesus Christ in life, and in the hour of our death that in Him we may at the last receive the crown of everlasting life. Amen.