We just celebrated Easter, a time when I like to think about who Jesus was and why He went to the cross. For my husband to believe that Jesus went to the cross to be our savior and that it was designed by God, he would have to see that the cross was part of God’s plan long before it happened. So I told him to look in Isaiah. Some time later, he was searching through Isaiah and getting a little frustrated. He sent up a little prayer: “God, if you are real, show me what I’m looking for.” The next moment, he turned to the following words in Isaiah 53,
” Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.” and more…..
We could call this a chance occurrence or we could call it a direct answer from God. The precise timing indicates a sentient response to me. That day, my husband decided God was real and Jesus sacrificed his life to bring us to God. Not far from these words are the wonderful words calling anyone to partake freely of a treasured intimacy with God:
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.
And you who have no money, come buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread?
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
Incline your ear and come to Me,
Listen that you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the mercies shown to David.
Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
for He will abundantly pardon.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are my ways higher than your ways
And my thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain and snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
“For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees will clap their hands.”
What an image! Mountains and hills shouting for joy when we leave our ways and return to the Lord. Trees of the fields clapping their hands. I will join with them, clapping my hands for the joy of seeing someone return to the Lord. Is there a happier occasion?