"The LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity" (Is 53:10).
Scripture scholars believe the prophet Isaiah is referring to Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. Yes, Lord, please crush Rodgers.
But seriously, who is being crushed in our first reading? And is God really pleased to see someone crushed?
From the Christian vantage point, it is Jesus Christ being crushed. Jesus is the 'offering for sin.'It can also be us. We are called to be crushed. We are called to be offerings. It's our suffering that will justify many. It is us who will be able to see the 'light in fullness' in our affliction.
It's a difficult, though certainly fulfilling, point to pray with: you are an offering. I am an offering. An offering entails sacrifice. In ancient religions an offering was burned. Today, when you make an offering, you are letting something out of your possession and it usually entails a financial cost.
On the other hand, an offering entails purposefulness. We don't make an offering unknowingly. If money falls out of your pocket into the collection basket, you've lost your dollar bill; you haven't offered it. When you offer the money, you intend it and have a purpose behind it.
God uses us as offerings. Our lives and every good thing we do go to some good purpose, like building up the church and the Body of Christ. This is what pleases the Lord. This is why he 'crushes' us.
Our lives are not only about us. Our joys and sufferings are not strictly our own. We are offerings. We are a gift to the church and to the world.