“His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and His form beyond that of the children of mankind” Isaiah 52:14.
Outward appearances matter so much, not only in 21st century Britain, but also in every other time and culture. This prediction came true 600 years after it was written when Jesus was crucified.
His sentence was one of the most brutal, leaving Him unrecognisable, barely human. Only the most vicious, remorseless assaults result in that level of cruelty. His death was wilful, violent and intentional against all that He was and stood for.
Strangely, that was the identity He spent His life pursuing. He became a servant and was obedient to death (Phil. 2:7-8). His purpose was not self-seeking: “Though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). He was unrecognisable to humanity by His selfless nature, a nature He wanted humanity to have. And so by having His body attacked and murdered, He showed perfection in asking for forgiveness for His offenders.
His destroyed physical appearance gave way to a more extraordinary spiritual dimension: “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).
So now if you recognise that it was your sin that cost Jesus so much, and you realise He is the only one who can save you from eternal punishment (“The wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23), then you can have the life He wants you to have by simply believing in Him. That faith will then spur you into action to live that selfless life that Jesus Christ wants you to have, one that puts others first. And this is possible because when you believe, you receive the Spirit of God in your life to enable you.
Live your life, not wanting more things, but wanting more of Christ. Only Jesus can make you the complete person you really need to be – a person characterised by inward strength, not necessarily outward appeal.