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Isaiah 50:6 + 2 Thessalonians 1:9

Isaiah 50:6 + 2 Thessalonians 1:9
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Isaiah 50:6, “…I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.”

2 Thessalonians 1:9, “(those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel) shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord…” (ASV)

As I continue through Isaiah in the mornings, I came across the words of the Servant of YHWH (a prophetic figured fulfilled by Jesus Christ) here in chapter 50. The gospel writers must have recounted the Passion of Christ with awe and wonder as they realized just how exactly Jesus’ sufferings achieved all that was anticipated by Isaiah and the other prophets ( as well as all of scripture, John 5:39-40, Luke 24:27, 44). Isaiah 50 alone is filled imagery that hs become familiar to us through the evangelists’ accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion.

What stood out to me today was the Servant’s words in verse 6. First he says that the Lord has given him opened ears and a humble disposition to obey what he hears (considering the role the obedience of Jesus plays in God’s self-revelation in the Son is something I’d love to spend more thought on in the future!)–and then, in obedience, we see the Servant giving himself over to the vicious assaults of those who hate YHWH and His word…..his back is struck, his beard is pulled out, and his face is disgraced and spit upon.

Now, these words really bloom into full glory when we consider them in light of who it is that fulfills them! It will be none other than God the Son, YHWH incarnate, Jesus Christ. This is where His steadfast love and faithfulness will take Him, this is where His resolve to see the Father’s Name exalted and treasured will lead Him, this is what His great act of revelatory redemption will look like….the marring of the Son beyond human semblance (Is.52:14).

What truly struck me this morning was considering Isaiah 50:6 in light of another passage in which we read about the Son’s face, 2 Thess. 1:9…. There we read that those who staunchly refuse God and the gospel of the glory of the marred Jesus, will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction from the face of the Lord.

Some translations will say, “away from his presence,” but the word that they translate as “presence” is the exact same that the Greek OT uses for “face” in Is. 50:6 (and it is a word often rendered “face” in other places as well). Also, the preposition translated “away from” need not always mean separation. It can also be understood as pointing to the source of something, thus a simple “from” is acceptable as well (as the old KJV and ASV translate it).

Jesus does not hide His face from the disgrace of human assault, nor from the disgrace of bearing our sins, nor from the disgrace of bearing God’s wrath….the face of the Servant is utterly disgraced at the cross…..but, if we do not receive the grace of His disgraced face, then upon His return, the glory and splendor streaming from that same face (a glory that will be the joy of His saints, 2 Thess.1:9), will work our eternal destruction.

To see the glory of God in the marred face of Christ as he hangs in the skies over Calvary means that we will also see–and rejoice to see–the glory of God shining from His unveiled face when he splinters the skies upon His return…..but to refuse the beauty of the disgraced face is to receive the wrath of the revealed face….may it not be so for any of us.