Friday, December 9, 2016

All We Like Sheep

    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.
      He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

            Yet He did not open His mouth;

            Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,

            And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
            So He did not open His mouth.

     By oppression and judgment He was taken away;

            And as for His generation, who considered

            That He was cut off out of the land of the living

            For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
(Isaiah 53:4-8)

I love this part of Handel’s Messiah!  One year as a kid I checked the record of the whole thing out of the library and listened to it.  I was old enough to enjoy being different maybe not old enough to really appreciate the lyrics.  But I remember the chorus swelling “all we like sheep-have gone astray.”

And I remember being that sheep.  Not some cute and fluffy lamb from a Christmas pageant but a panicked matted sheep caught in the brambles wondering where the shepherd went.  

The last part of the song drops the frenzied primary melody into a sad slow fade.  “He has laid on Him the inquiry of us all."

In Christmas and every other season we have this precious gift: our Shepherd became a sheep.  He left the glory of heaven to be a broken and bloody lamb.  

Ready for more Christmas posts?

Jesus the Lamb of God

Families are the best   

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