By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
I consider myself very fortunate, because I’ve managed to build up a great crowd of friends over the years – from school, universities, work, holidays, neighbours etc. I do struggle sometimes to be in contact with them all as much as I’d like, however. One recent technology that has made it easier to stay in touch, though, is Facebook. It’s so easy to see what friends are up to, send them an occasional message, or even just to “like” their status to show that you’re thinking of them.
Facebook has got a bit cluttered of late with various applications and adverts, however. One application that seems to be doing the rounds at the moment is called ‘Death’s Time,’ and it supposedly tells you how and when you’re going to die. I assume it’s not meant to be taken seriously, however, as it recently told a friend that he was going to die on April 21st 2044 at 11:47pm, at the age of 68, when he would be decapitated by a helicopter blade! It subsequently updated its predication to say that he would, in fact, survive until February 27th 2058, when, at the age of 82, he would die of heat stroke at an American football practice – at 5:13 in the morning!
What would it be like if you actually did know how and when you were going to die? What if you knew that you were going to die at a young age, by being crucified, one of the most degrading and painful ways of killing the world has ever devised? In our current Mark Marathon passage, fairly near to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus hints that he will be taken away from his friends when he says that “the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them.” I wonder how Jesus felt about this.
Our verse today foretells Jesus’ death. It states that he will be taken away by oppression and judgement – and we see exactly that happen when he is sentenced to death by a corrupt regime. The people who killed Jesus had no idea what they were doing – they certainly weren’t thinking of his descendents. Speaking through Isaiah, God also says that Jesus was stricken for the trangression of his people – that’s you and me. Jesus was killed in order that you and I might live. How many other people do you know who have done that for you?