Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

the sacrificial root

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,     nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:1-4. NIV)

Lord Jesus,

Your manger was a veritable garden of grace, for there the Father planted you as the tender shoot of Isaiah's vision. Hallelujah, you are the root of life that has broken through the dry ground of our fallen world and fallen hearts. 

We are in awe of the sacrificial tenderness of your incarnation. You created beauty, yet you became the one with "no beauty" for US. You took the evilness and ugliness of our sin so that we might become pure and beautiful in you. Though you have always been the delight of the Godhead, you b became the despised one, rejected on, for us all. What wondrous love is this, indeed?

You became a man of suffering, and though you did not remain a "tender shoot" you have kept all tenderness. In taking up your cross, you took our sin and carried out sorrow; bore the guilt and exhausted judgment - once and for al. Wonderful, merciful Savior. 

Teach us to esteem and love you as you desire, Lord Jesus. May your tenderness grow in our hearts and be real. 

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