The LORD made it known to me and I knew; then thou didst show me their evil deeds. But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” –Jeremiah 11:18-20, 12:1-17
As we were just considering Old Testament prophesies of Jesus in our devotion for Palm Sunday, once again we hear a prophet speaking clearly about the coming of the Messiah and the suffering He would endure.
When we think of Jesus as the “Suffering Servant,” we most often think of the Suffering Servant songs of Isaiah. And yet the later prophets speak greatly about the Messiah who would come and what would happen to Him. In the above passage, who couldn’t see Jesus being described as a gentle lamb led to the slaughter, and his enemies wishing to cut Jesus off from the land of the living, to do away with Him once and for all? Their desire was to destroy the tree with its fruit—doing away with God and His Son, both in one swift, decisive action.
But this was not to be! Yes, Jesus would be the lamb led to slaughter. Yes, the desire of the religious establishment was to do away with Jesus. But to cut Him off from the land of the living, that His name be remembered no more? Hardly. What really happened is that Jesus was raised from death to never die again! Jesus was resurrected, restored to the land of the living forever—so that His name is remembered throughout the world! So that people ever since that first Holy Week would sing His praises and shout His name, and testify that Jesus, who was crucified, is risen.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We are not yet to Easter Sunday. Let us walk alongside the gentle Lamb as He is led to slaughter. Let us be by His side, to witness His sacrifice. Let us stand at the foot of His cross, sorrowful for His pain and suffering, but knowing that soon we will leap for joy and remember His name in songs of glory and praise!
Lord our God, we give thanks for this Great and Holy Week. Help us to put our lives on “hold” as much as is possible, that we may walk with Jesus on the path of sorrow, to arrive with Him at Easter joy; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Taken from Wendel, David, From Ashes to Easter, Ashes Lenten Devotional Booklet, North American Lutheran Church.