"Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed."Isaiah 53:3-4 (NIV)
What's worse--misjudging someone or being misjudged? Each has its own sting. I suppose part of the humiliation in both situations depends on how close the other party is to us. I learned some information indirectly about someone who had once been in my life a long time ago. This person still looks at me the same way. I have never changed in this person's eyes even though more than twenty years have passed since we rubbed shoulders. It's strange how badly I want to defend myself, to explain that I am not the same, and to hope that the misjudgment could be shaken in the process. The sting is still there, even though I will probably never see this person again.
I have also misjudged others. The sting of realizing my folly has filled me with shame. Had the Lord not pointed out how wrong I was in my opinion of her, I would have missed out on one of the most soul-satisfying relationships in my life. I could see nothing in common with this person. She intimidated me. I don't even remember what started the change in our friendship, but her friendship made me believe in the idea of a soul sister--something I had never had before.
I wonder what how we have misjudged Christ? For so many years, Jesus was a righteous Judge, just waiting to zap me when I messed up. I knew how badly I messed up, so I hardly ever felt His favor. I didn't have an inkling about His true character because I had never sought to know it through His Word. Jesus was a concoction in my mind of others' judgments about who He was. But until I got to know Him for myself, my misconceptions about Him continued.
Where are we, girlfriends, when it comes to who Jesus really is to us? Is He just a great man, perhaps a prophet, but not the Savior of the world? Could it be that we have never really given Him the chance to prove Himself otherwise to us? Have we looked at broken people who claim to be His followers and have misjudged Him because of their imperfection in representing Him? Maybe we believe He is the Savior, but we have never let Him be more than that. He is like a 911 operator that we call on only in an emergency. He only has our attention when the going gets tough, but is virtually ignored the rest of the time. Our judgment of Him affects our level of being known by Him. And until we understand that He was pierced and crushed for our sin, we will never have the peace or healing that His wounds bring.
Jesus, You were misjudged Your entire life, even as You took Your final breath on a cross You did not deserve. You still are being misjudged...by me. How many times have I doubted Your power, Your forgiveness, or Your provision for me? Thank You that You did not let others' misconceptions of You change Your resolve to bring healing to us. You didn't have to do that. You could have walked away. Thank You that You didn't!