The Eunuch Meets Messiah

lamb

Lamb of God by Francisco de Zurbaran (1598-1664)

 

In Acts 8:32-35 we find a eunuch reading this passage of Scripture from Isaiah 53:7-8:


“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent
so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”

The passage in Acts continues;

The eunuch asked Philip “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Yahshua.

The eunuch’s question, “Is he talking of himself or someone else?” and the words “Tell me please” may suggest a pleading. Maybe like me, you have read this passage and missed the emotionMaybe he is desperate, “How can I?” He said “Unless someone explains it to me.”
Maybe in your own walk and prayer life you can relate. Those encounters where God’s Spirit breaks through – have they been times of desperate pleading?

The eunuch could relate to the passage he was reading personally. The typical eunuch was one who had had the ability to create children taken away from him. The eunuch knew once he died there would be nothing of him left, no children to continue his life. Perhaps this passage was raw to him and touching a hurt that he had lived with for years.

“Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”

To have this ability taken away, being emasculated, is an incredible humiliation. He had no choice, no one saved him from this path or spoke up for his rights, and now his destiny is what is spoken of by the prophet;

“in his humiliation he was deprived of justice”

Often in our afflictions and heartache we can feel very alone, but now in this verse perhaps
the eunuch sees someone has shared that similar experience of being unjustly treated, knows what he has gone through and he wants to know that person. So he asks Philip; “Is the prophet talking of himself or someone else?”

See how the Holy Spirit has orchestrated this, his timing perfect, not allowing his word to return void, transporting Philip while this exact passage is being read. All that is required by Philip is to introduce the eunuch to Yahshua, which he is well equipped to do having intimate knowledge of him and of the Scriptures that speak of Him.

And now the eunuch knows the One who identifies with him in his suffering.

And now the eunuch wants to identify with Him by being baptised.

And just as when Yahshua came to us, perhaps also for the eunuch there was joy and hope and a filling of His Spirit that brings His Word alive to our whole being. Now Scriptures make sense, have deeper meaning and encourage us where once they were just words on a page.

Where once this Ethiopian who perhaps practiced Judaism but would have been restricted to the outer courts of the temple in Jerusalem goes on to read a few chapters later in Isaiah 56:3-5;

“Let no foreigner who has bound himself to Yahweh say, Yahweh will surely exclude me from his people,” And let not the Eunuch complain, I am only a dry tree.” For this is what Yahweh says: To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant – to them I will give within my temple walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.”

Yahshua redeems what has been lost. His word speaks life into the hurts and injustices of our innermost being. He identifies with us in our suffering. He sets us free and brings hope where there once was none. He can make passages of Scripture intimately personal and we rejoice in those moments because that’s when Salvation comes.

-Leanne

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