“Behold The Marred One”
by Dr. John Paisley
John Paisley is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Riverview in Pasco, Washington.
I preach this message or a form of it often, but I’d like for you to take your Bibles and look at Isaiah chapter 52. What a passage of Scripture! And I’ll be honest with you, I preach this message to myself.
I hope I’m a “young 81,” but I want to be 95 years old and still crawling up and down the stairs of places around Pasco, and they’ll say, “Is that old guy still around here? Still knocking on doors?” I want to! I’ve asked the Lord, if He tarries, I want to die trying to lead someone to Christ.
My family all dropped dead of heart attacks. I mean, instantaneous – just like that! I’d like to have a heart attack, maybe fall off the porch into the bushes or something! What a way to die! Hahaha! But you know, I just be faithful to the end! I was told I had a cancer in my eye, in my eyelid actually; it was a tumor. You know what, I’ll be fine.
But this verse, I can’t hardly read it without crying. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I haven’t preached on it… this is the second time I’ve preached it. It’s found in Isaiah 52, and these three verses just grip my heart. Look at it at what it says: “Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.” Then this is the verse that absolutely knocks the props out in my heart: “As many were astonied at thee;…” That an old English word that has to do with astonishment. Now, “astonishment” – I’ll explain that in just a minute, but “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man,…”
Now folks, don’t just skim over that. Don’t just skim over that. I can’t imagine God the Son in His physical body that walked this earth, and being marred more than any man. I’ll say a word about that in just a minute. He says, “…his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations;…” Well, there’s a missions verse right there! Isaiah 52:15! It says, “…the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them [Thank God!] shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.”
Let’s pray. Father, I think of that verse, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (II Corinthians 8:9) and we are the richest people on the face of this earth. May we fall more, just more in love with Jesus every day, and Lord, may we be astonished every time we think of what He did for each of us as described in this Old Testament prophecy. Lord, help us to love you, just love You. I guess this message is about just loving the Son of God for all He’s done for us. We pray that YOU would get all glory and all honor. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
I want to draw your attention first to verse 13; If I titled the message, here’s what the title would be: “BEHOLD, THE MARRED ONE.” Now let me say this. I guess God uses our lives as we grow up; He puts us in places where we didn’t expect to be. When I was in the first college I went to in Springfield, Missouri, my wife and I got married our senior year (a wonderful, wonderful woman!), and I got a job at one of the largest hospitals in Missouri. I love working around people, so they put me down in the emergency room to help people coming in. I mean, it was a fresh education every night.
I’d been studying this verse back in 1956, and I thought, “Boy that’s an interesting verse!” Then I go to work that night; I went to school from eight in the morning until one, slept in the afternoon, went to the emergency room or other places in the hospital from eleven to seven. So there was a lot of activity! Not good activity, but a lot of activity on the eleven to seven shift. When I went to work I’d had this verse on my heart. I’d worked there about six months, and you know, the emergency room comes alive when the ambulances start calling. One of my jobs was to take people out of the ambulance, and then help the doctors – I’d hold people down who were screaming and yelling and crying for help. Honestly, it was very rewarding, because you knew you were helping people.
Well, they get a call in, I hear it, and the ambulance driver, I knew him personally, said, “We’ve got a bad one tonight. This is a head-on collision, and we’ve got some seriously injured people. We’ll be there…” and you know they gave their estimated time of arrival.
You could hear the sirens coming through the streets of Springfield. So I went out there and started pulling people out, helping the ambulance drivers and the paramedics pull people out of this ambulance, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. I really couldn’t. You know where it says here, “…and many were astonished…”, I was astonished at what I was looking at! Because I had never in the time I’d worked at the hospital had to ever have to deal with a head-on collision. I mean, this was a very active hospital too.
So I help pull these guys out, get them on gurneys, take them in to the doctors, and I’d work with them. I usually enjoyed doing that, but you know doctors are rough when there’s an emergency going on. I mean, they’re going to be more on the law side than on the grace side!
So I cart these guys in, and honestly, there’s blood everywhere. Blood everywhere. I’d been memorizing this verse! “…his visage was so marred more than any man,…” Oh my soul! He says, “As many were astonied at thee;…” and you know, that was on my heart! Here I am carting a gurney down to the emergency room not far away. We go in there and the doctor said, “OK John, get him over here!” and he starts examining this guy. I’ve never seen anybody in that shape, honestly. I’m looking at this, and the doctor was working real quickly – he was a very good doctor – and he says, “John, get him out of here.”
I said, “Sir?”
He said, “Get him out of here, he’s dead.” And he said, “Don’t take him to the morgue, just put him back inside one of the curtains of the emergency room and come back and help me; we’ve got a bunch of other people to work with.”
So I did exactly what he said, took the gurney, pushed it in, and the curtains were open. I stood there for a few moments and looked at that guy, thinking about this verse. “…his visage was so marred more than any man,…” And like the first part of that verse, I’m there with my mouth open! I was astonished! I have never seen anything like this in my life! I knew I couldn’t stand there and gaze at this corpse with blood still coming out of him, and his body was bloody from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. But that verse hit me hard, and I actually said, “This just makes me want to weep! Lord, You were beaten worse than that?” I mean, this was the most horrible thing I ever saw in my life! I’ve said this for years: God doesn’t exaggerate. An exaggeration is a lie. He’s the God that speaks truth.
So I’m standing in this emergency room for about 10-15 seconds, and tears were coming down my eyes and I’m thinking, “You, Lord Jesus – the Messenger of God, God in the flesh – You were beaten more than this?”
Now folks, that was well over 50 years ago, but that moment has never left me. It’s as fresh in my memory as if it were yesterday. Every time I read that verse, you know what image pops in my mind? Whew! That guy. He wasn’t moving. I don’t know if he was saved or lost. But I have never seen such a mangled person in my whole life.
So I walked out, well, I practically ran out of there because I had to help the doctor and now we’ve got two others that are dying, so we’re working with them.
What I’m saying is this. I thought about that moment, that picture in my mind. It causes me to weep, thinking about what my Saviour suffered for me. Now, think about this. The Bible tells us in Revelation chapter 13 Christ was slain before the foundation of the earth. It was planned in detail, settled in Heaven. Jesus knew exactly what He was coming to do for us.
My dear wife died of cancer 13 ½ years ago. We were married for 42 ½ years. Suppose I would’ve went to the altar, and my pastor, Dr. Wendell Zimmerman, had said, “Uh, John, can I talk to you a minute?” and I’d say, “Sure, pastor, what’s up?” and he’d have said, “Well, I hate to be a bearer of bad news, but Dorothy’s going to die in 42 years and 3 months.” That would have ruined my wedding! Oh my! This girl that I love so much and was the best wife a man could ever have, she’s going to die in 42 ½ years? Think about Jesus.
Now, it says, “Behold my servant…” You know, one of the problems we have is we think too much about ourselves and not about His servant! You know why people are going out and doing stupid things and killing themselves and all kinds of other things? How can I say this? It’s not about me. I hate to tell you, but it’s not about you, either. It’s about Him. Now if we keep that truth in mind, listen, that’ll solve most of our problems right there! Every one of us knows that the mind of Christ is this...
Let me tell you the greatest sermon I ever heard. I went to 41 Pastor Schools at First Baptist Church of Hammond. We used to take groups there all the time. I’ll never forget Dr. Hyles standing up there, and he said, “I’m going to solve your problem tonight,” how only Jack Hyles could do it. He said, “I’m going to solve your problem tonight. Take your Bible,” and he went to the cross and preached the message called, “Others”. The greatest message I ever heard! Oh, it wasn’t some profound, “deep thought,” great truth. I like practical stuff! Man, he had my attention! “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
“Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I might live like Thee.”
I mean, this would solve our problems! Listen, I’m an old-time fundamentalist! Just ask my children! They’ll tell you! When I think of Christ dying on the cross… let me just put it this way. When I think of Christ dying on the cross, we slough through verses that are familiar, and we don’t pause to “think on these things”! That’s what He said! “Look every man on the things of others!” and he said, “I want you to have the mind of Christ!” Jesus Christ did not have His mind on His own suffering. His mind was filled with others!
You say, “I want to be a better pastor.” Well, I want to be a better pastor, too. That’s why I’m preaching this sermon. Because I want to have more compassion for the people who are going through a tough time.
I thought about this verse when you were speaking Brother Joe. “…speaking the truth in love…” Think about that! Now don’t just start to the next verse, let’s back up and think about what it says. “…speaking the truth in love…” Here we have the people of the Marred One. These are the saved people, and He wants us to be baptized in the love of Christ!
I heard a guy say one time, and boy it stuck with me, “The truth without love is brutal.” Did you know that? The truth without love is brutal! “Oh, I tell you, I told them the truth!” Yeah. And even though you told them the truth, you may have sent them to hell, because you didn’t have love. What’s charity? What’s love? The love of Christ? “Charity suffereth long…” You say, “Well, that woman calls me for counseling every other day!” “Charity suffereth long…” You know what you do? Hey, if you love someone… How about your kids? Do your kids ever drive you nuts? And they’ll come back!
Many times I’ve had to remind myself, “Charity suffereth long…” God bless them! Listen girls, listen boys, you can come talk to me any time you want to; I don’t care if it’s in the middle of the night. If you’ve got a problem, you can talk to me, because I love you. “Charity suffereth long…”
Let’s go one more phrase. “…and is kind.” Brother Terry, I appreciate how these men down here that work for you take care of me, and I appreciate your kindness. Just like yesterday - “Well, I’ve got these windshield wipers that aren’t working, I don’t want to wreck your car!”
“Oh, brother Paisley, give me your key!” He called one of the staff members and said, “Hey, take care of Brother Paisley’s car.” I’ve got the best windshield wipers in the world right now! When he came back with the key, he said, “These are the best!” I said, “Thank you, thank you!” You know what that is? That’s kindness. But you know what that’s a fruit of? LOVE!
When we come to this portion of Scripture, we look at it and see that He’s talking about His people. He says, “Behold my servant…” and He says “I want you to see how kind and loving He is that He would give His life, knowing that from the foundation of the world!” I’d be depressed! But Jesus knew, and for the joy sent before Him, He wanted to save us, He was willing to die for us.
“Behold my servant…” Let me go to the next thing: not only the people of the Marred One, but the pictures of the Marred One. You want a depressing thing? Get you a computer, and put in there, “pictures of Jesus.” You know how many I looked at the other night in preparation of this message? 1,000 pictures of Jesus! You know what I was when I finished that? I was depressed. Out of 1,000 pictures that I saw, not ONE was correct.
We let the artists, the sinners, they draw “what Jesus looked like”… listen, you don’t get the pictures of Jesus from the sinners, you get them from the SCRIPTURES! That’s what we’re looking at! That’s why you spend time in the Bible! And you want to paint it the way HE is! How important for us to look at the Scriptures in the Bible and see that it’s amazing the way He is pictured in the Bible. Do you know what? “There is no beauty that we should desire Him.”
Let me talk to you young men a little bit, and you young ladies too, OK? My wife was the best Christian I’ve ever met. Honestly. To live with me, I KNOW she was a good Christian! Because I’m a little bit more on the truth side than I am on the grace side. That woman, when she grew up, she had acne, and it scarred her face. Her whole face was scarred. Now, I’m going to give you a little marriage counseling, OK? I don’t know how many of you are married. But my Pastor, I worked for Dr. Tom McGath in Springfield, Missouri, and she was the church secretary, and she was my best friend. I got a date with all the girls in the college because my wife (my future wife) lined up every date. Because we were buddies! Hey!
Here we were after we were married, and she says to me, “I’ve got a confession I’ve got to make.” Honestly, it shocked me to death because I watched her life. She was a soul-winner, and Bible clubs, and bus routes, and all that kind of stuff.
I said, “Honey, confessions are supposed to come before you get married, not after you get married!”
She was a great actress – she puts her hand on her collarbone here and says, “John, I’ve got to get this off my chest.”
I said, “OK”.
She said, “When I was at Bob Jones, I did something very horrible.” She said, “We slipped off of campus, me and my roommate, Betty Lou Godfrey,” (Now, I had never met this woman, but I was so sucked into this thing!) She told me later it wasn’t possible to do that because it was a prison – you couldn’t get out of there in 1960!) She said, “We went to downtown Greenville, and went to a medium.”
Now, I’m listening, and I knew a medium was a fortune teller, a guy that reads your palms and tells you your future. I couldn’t hardly believe this! She said, “Betty Lou went in first and came out, and called for me to come in. Then I went in, and he said, ‘Let me see your hand,’ and he looked at my hand, and he started laughing hilariously! I mean, the guy was laughing so hard!” (I still thought this was a true story!) “He was bent over laughing! When he looked up, I hit him up the side of the head as hard as I could.”
Now, here I am, thinking this is all true! And I said to her, “Well, why in the world did you do that?”
She said, “Because my Momma always told me I needed to ‘hit a happy medium!’”
And here’s this newly married and very relieved groom that goes, “Ahhhhh!”
What I’m saying was this; she wasn’t the most beautiful girl. Let me tell you the greatest advice I ever had. My Pastor came to me, we both worked on the church staff before I went to work at the hospital – and he says, “You going to get married someday?” and I said, “Yes sir, sometime!” He said, “Let me tell you who to marry.” He pointed in the church office, she was the church secretary. It was 1964, he pointed in there, and says, “Marry that girl right there.”
And I said, “Well, she’s my best friend!”
He said, “Even more reason to marry that girl!” and I did.
I want to tell you what, we had FUN. I watched her as she dealt with all the suffering of cancer. Here she breaks both of her feet because of the effect of her cancer and treatments, she was covered with cancer, and she falls in the parsonage and breaks both of her feet, and this is just the way it flows out of her. She didn’t even have to think about it. They took her to the hospital and the doctor said, “You’re going to have to have surgery on your left foot because you’ve broken it severely. Your right foot is broken; we’ll put a boot on that one,” and he says, “But you’re going to have to wait four days before we can do surgery because you won’t heal. The Chemo has shot your system, you won’t heal.” So they did that, took her to surgery, and put 14 screws in her left ankle and a plate in her left ankle. They’d given her six units of blood and had 14 screws in her ankle.
One of our families from the church came to visit and they said, “Dorothy, how are you doing?” (I wish I could talk the rest of the day about this woman!)
She says, “Well, Brother Howard,” “I’m two quarts low and all screwed up!” I was standing there, and I asked her after they’d left, “Where do you get all this stuff from? I’ve been married with you for years and you’re always coming up with your own little happiness!”
You know what? My doctor, who owned a college, worked on 14,000 patients in our area, he came to me right before she died, and said, “You!...” And we had witnessed to him, preached to him about the Messiah, and he comes and he says, “You’re a blessed man!” He’d been in our area 40 years.
And I said, “You’re right, Doc, you’re right!”
He said, “Your wife, I have never in my whole medical career,” (he was a graduate of Yale, highest in his class) and he said, “I have never had anybody like your wife. And it’s because of her attitude.”
You know what love will do? Love will change your attitude. The Holy Spirit will change your attitude. The Holy Spirit will make us a little more on the compassionate side, on the grace side, and less on the truth side, although truth is so important; so don’t cut either one. It’s good to have a balanced life.
We see that this pictures in this world of the Marred One are not an accurate picture, but the picture in the Bible is so, so, so accurate. It just balances right out.
So we see the people of the Marred One. “Behold my servant…” The people of the Marred One. That’ll solve our problems. I’m trying to stick with simplicity! It’s not about you; it’s all about Him. Also, the pictures of the Marred One – it’s not accurate unless you get it from the Scriptures, and then you’ve got it accurate.
Now let’s talk a little bit about the piercing of the Marred One. I gave you the illustration of the guy that was hauled off into the emergency room, dead on arrival, and I had to go in there and see him. Then I started looking up words in the Bible after that on piercing.
Take your Bible and turn to Zechariah if you would. We’re talking about “Behold, the Marred One.” Look at Zechariah chapter 12. This is an amazing verse of Scripture. When I first read this as a young student in Bible college, you know, they always taught us in Bible college, “Read the context, make sure you’ve got it right, make sure that you can know what the context is telling you about that passage.” And this thing right here of the piercing of the Marred One, look what it says here in verse 3, well, look at verse 1. Let’s get the context.
“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD,…” Look at verse 4: “In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider…” And he goes on describing the last days of Judah and the Lord’s deliverances, but I want to draw your attention for the second time; go to verse 10. Now we’re talking about the pictures of the Marred One, the people of the Marred One, the piercing of the Marred One.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications:…” Watch now what it says here; this is amazing. I’ve got this triple underlined in my Bible: “…and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
Now, who’s talking here? God Almighty is talking, and He says “…and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…” You know what that means? God is a Trinity: it’s God the Father, but also God the Son, and these three are One (with the Holy Spirit). It’s amazing that God Almighty Himself when He was taken to the cross of Calvary and beaten beyond recognition where nobody could even identify Him as a man. This is where I get a little more in truth than grace. We’re not telling it how it really was!
Listen, it would make you sick, it would make me sick to see what the Son of God did for us on the cross! Listen, when He dropped that cross, He’d bled out half His blood already! You take a cat-of-nine-tails and whack on you, it’ll cut you, and those Roman soldiers were so good at that. Crucifixion was a deterrent, so they wanted to make it as gruesome and as evil as it could possibly be, and here they are taking the Saviour, God the Son, and they’re cutting His hide right off of His body.
That’s why, when I looked at those pictures the other night, I thought, “You guys don’t have the foggiest idea what the Bible says.” How important. There wasn’t just a trickle of blood. His visage was so marred that you couldn’t recognize it was a man.
“Behold…” Behold – that means “keep ever in view.” I get up this morning – not because I’m preaching on it – but I want to train myself when I get up in the morning, I want to train myself, the first One I want to think about is Jesus. And then I’m going to say He was so marred, more than any man. You know what that will do? It’ll change your life. That’s what it will do. Because you’ll find yourself being reminded, “He did that for me because He loved me so, and He loved me before the foundation of the world, thank God! thank God! thank God! I’m going to go to Heaven someday! Jesus loved me and died for me!”
By the way, let me say about those piercings, they didn’t go away after He resurrected. Now this is where I get a little bit carried away. I mean, look at Thomas. “I’ll not believe except I see the nail-prints in His hands and holes in His side.” Well, he saw it! But you know what? It’s interesting, here we’re looking at the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, His love for us. “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19) You want to be filled with the fulness of God? Study that a little bit, and work on that thing of His crucifixion, dwell on that topic for a while and study your Bible and see what they did to Him. I’m telling you, it’ll change our hearts, it’ll reach down deep, deep, deep into our soul and spirit and change us.
Then, notice, when you go back to Calvary and see Him the way He really is, let’s go to Psalm 22 and we’re just about finished. In Psalm 22, I’m going to prove something here. In Psalm 22, look what it says: “…they pierced my hands and my feet.” (Psalm 22:16b). Now, listen to this in verse 17; hey, can you imagine David writing that? I mean, here you are being inspired by God and you’re writing that down, “…they pierced my hands and my feet.” He looks at his hands and he looks at his feet, and he says to himself, “I don’t have the foggiest idea what I’m talking about!” But it happened! It happened just like the Bible prophecies and said it would! After 700 years! You look at that and you see what they did at the crucifixion, and they ripped His hide right off of Him, oh my soul!
“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19) I can’t explain this to you, but I hope you’re getting just a little glimpse of the passion of Christ, and the piercing of Christ, and the pictures of Christ, and the pictures of the Marred One, and His people – that’s us!
Now, let me just close with this. What is all this about? Let’s go back to Isaiah chapter 53, and we’re finished. Let’s look at the plan of the Marred One. So first we’ve got the people of the Marred One, the pictures of the Marred One, we’ve got the piercing of the Marred One, we’ve got the passion of the Marred One, and now we close with the plan of the Marred One. Look what it says: “…So shall he sprinkle many nations;…”
You know what my dream is? Pray with me for my dream, OK? We have 317 missionaries in almost 100 countries. You know how many countries there are in the world? A bunch! Before I die, I’m asking the Lord to do this! I mean, we took on 14 missionaries two weeks ago, and we’re going to take on some more missionaries in just a few days, and I would love to have a missionary in every nation of the world, that we have a part in their life.
Why? That’s the plan! That’s the plan of the Marred One! Look what he says! He says, “…he sprinkle many nations;…” And He says, “…the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them…” (Listen to this!) “…that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.”
We’ve got three missionaries we support, you know where they go? They go to unreached nations. Now when I say “unreached nations,” I’m talking about tribes and people groups. I’ve got a guy right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if I got a call right now and they said, “Brother Paisley, you know our missionary, Jason? He got martyred. He was killed by a tribe.” He went into Peru for 46 days and ran out of food after the fourth day, he and his brother-in-law. You say, “Why?” Because that’s the plan of the Marred One! That’s what He wants us to do! He wants us to get the Gospel out! “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
Do you know what motivates us? Look at His piercings. Just look at them. Here I am in the emergency room, cart, blood dripping off, down the sheets, and I looked at the guy’s head from there down to about his chest, all blood. And then I remember that HIS visage was marred more than that, man! I can’t get that out my mind.
So it makes me say, “Hey, it’s easy to see what God wants us to do. He wants us to be soul-winners! He wants us to reach the folks right here in America!” Brother, I appreciate what you’re doing, and the meeting the other day, and I thank God that we’ve got our missionaries that are going to these middle of nowhere places. Hey, do you know what those men ate in the jungle when they got lost? They weren’t lost, but the radio went out; they killed crocodiles! They’d kill crocodiles and eat them. That’s how they got by!
One of them said, “My brother-in-law, when we came out of those jungles of Peru,” They were going to a native tribe that had never been reached, and when they came out, he said, “My brother-in-law was at the gates of death. We were in there with no food, and nobody knew where we were because the radio went out.” And I thought to myself, “Thank God there are people that still have a vision!”
I’ll tell you what, if you know missionaries that are going to the unreached nations, give them my number! I’m serious! I mean, Baptist missionaries! I want people that preach the Truth the way the Truth was written! I’ll tell you what, I don’t know how we’ll do it, but we’re going to try to get a Gospel preacher in every nation of the world. Exciting, exciting, exciting!
Why? That man on that cart wasn’t the worst one who has ever been pierced; Jesus, HE’S the One that’s the worst One, marred more than any man . And you know what we owe to Him?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor,..” (II Corinthians 8:9) Became poor? MY SOUL, became poor! You talk about getting beaten beyond recognition!
I’ll close with this…
My wife’s in Heaven. I tell you, she was something else! And you know, because Thomas could see all the scars and the nail prints and the hole in His side, and the holes in the hands… now, I don’t know if this is true, but I love my wife so much, Brother Denny, if she met me at Heaven’s gates, and she was the most affectionate gal you’d ever want to meet – we’d embrace, I don’t know if you kiss in Heaven. I’ll try to kiss her in Heaven! But you know what I can hear? With tears in her eyes – you say, “But there’s no tears in Heaven!” Wait a minute, there sure is! “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;…” (Revelation 21:4)
She was a tender, compassionate soul-winning dynamo for the Lord. She had a bus route for 31 years, played church piano, I mean, just did all kinds of stuff. She was the greatest wife a man could have. I can see her saying to me, “John, I want to take you somewhere.” I say, “What are you talking about?” and she’d say, “I want to take you to the throne.”
Now, I don’t know; the Bible doesn’t say He’s going to meet us at the door. You let your imagination just run; this is what I want to think about. She grabs my hand and says, “You ain’t going to believe what you see!” and so I take her hand. We had a child that died, and we get to meet that child that we never met. We start walking towards the throne, and here’s what we’re going to hear…it’s going to be beautiful; it will be astonishing: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hast redeemed us to God by His blood!”
We get closer to the throne, and she says, “Honey, look at the throne!” You look up there, and you don’t see some good-looking, handsome Jew sitting up there on the throne. You see the ONE that His visage was so marred, more than any man.
You know what’ll that will make you want to do? Hey, none of His disciples, none of His friends, none of the people that knew Him, they didn’t even recognize Him after He came out of the grave! They didn’t know who He was! I mean, He revealed Himself to them, but I can’t help but believe some of that had to do with the scars that He had. We bow down, she and I, at the throne, and we join the chorus! You see, it doesn’t say, “Wonderful is this powerful Creator!” No, Wonderful, Marvelous, WORTHY is the word. We will be singing, “WORTHY is the LAMB that was slain.”
You know that song that says, “I’ll wish I had given Him more”? “By and by when I look on His face…” Scars – unbelievable. Pluck somebody’s beard out and see how they feel. There’ll be globs of bloody flesh. Think about all that He went through. Think about why He was willing to go through all that. It was for you. It was for me. I know we’ll be in an all-knowing place, thank God we are, and we’ll know that’s Jesus, but I don’t know what we’re going to see. It could be all the scars, all the inhumane piercings, and the blood, and all that. My, I just don’t know.
Let me just say this, let’s love HIM because He first loved us. And the last verse of the chapter – missions! Soulwinning! I mean, we’re going out trying to get people saved! Why? Because there’s One on the throne right now, and He is the One that was pierced and beaten and whipped beyond recognition, and no man was ever marred like Him. “…his visage was so marred more than any man.”
Let’s pray. Our Father, You said to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. I understand that right now! May we just love Jesus. May we tell people about Him, how wonderful He is. Thank you, Lord, for being slain before the foundation of the world, and we’re never going to understand that. All this is beyond our human limited knowledge. But I am so thankful that we can go and meet the Marred One, and maybe, I don’t know for sure, maybe still see the scars as Thomas saw the nail-prints and holes in His side. Lord, help us to love You and serve You, and we’ll give you the praise for it. If there’s anyone here that has never trusted this One Who did so much to save you, help us. Lord, we want to see them saved. Lord, I pray that You’ll help us to love Jesus, just love Jesus, and live to please and glorify the Lamb of God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.