Love’s Greatest Gift
We all, like sheep, have gone astray. Isaiah 53:6
My son Geoff was leaving a store when he saw an abandoned walking frame (a mobility aid) on the ground. I hope there isn’t a person back there who needs help, he thought. He glanced behind the building and found a homeless man unconscious on the pavement.
Geoff roused him and asked if he was okay. “I’m trying to drink myself to death,” he responded. “My tent broke in a storm, and I lost everything. I don’t want to live.”
Geoff called a Christian rehabilitation ministry, and while they waited for help, he ran home briefly and brought the man his own camping tent. “What’s your name?” Geoff asked. “Geoffrey,” the homeless man answered, “with a G.” Geoff hadn’t mentioned his own name or its uncommon spelling. “Dad,” he told me later, “that could have been me.”
Geoff once struggled with substance abuse himself, and he helped the man because of the kindness he’d received from God. Isaiah the prophet used these words to anticipate God’s mercy to us in Jesus: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).
Christ, our Savior, didn’t leave us lost, alone, and hopeless in despair. He chose to identify with us and lift us in love, so that we may be set free to live anew in Him. There’s no greater gift.
By James Banks
Where would you be without Jesus? How can you be His hands and feet for someone in need?
Thank You, Jesus, for coming to rescue me. Help me to join in Your search-and-rescue mission and to share Your love with someone who needs You today.
Read Remade in the Image of Jesus.
Isaiah 53:1–6 is part of the “Song of the Suffering Servant” that begins in 52:13 and ends in 53:12. It was this song that the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26–40 was reading. In that New Testament story, Philip the evangelist tells an Ethiopian official that Isaiah is speaking of Jesus the Messiah (Acts 8:32–35). Isaiah prophesied how the Messiah would be mistreated: “his appearance was . . . disfigured beyond that of any human being” (Isaiah 52:14). He would be “a man of suffering, and familiar with pain” (53:3). This was so Christ could pay the penalty for our sins: “he was pierced for our transgressions,” and “the punishment that brought us peace was on him” (v. 5). This is the elusive peace for which the human race yearns and is at the very heart of the gospel Philip shared with the Ethiopian.