During the Christmas season my church choir did two selections from Handel's Messiah. As a first soprano and classical choral music lover singing this is a always a real joy and thrill for me, and always has been. Not only could I sing Messiah selections all year long and be a happy camper but I am continually amazed at the text. Of course Handel did not write the text - it is all from the book of Isaiah. Messiah tells the life of Jesus, taken from Isaiah, which was written about 700 years before the birth of Christ. Really. Read it again and be amazed.
He grew up like a tender root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering...
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.
We all, like sheep have gone astray
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth,
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter.