We’ve been talking the last few blogs about the significance of the cross in the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’d like to continue this theme by considering further the passage we were looking at last week in Isaiah 53. We read, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes, we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” (v.5-6 KJV). “But he” sets a contrast between what we had considered the suffering servant was going through and what was actually happening. These two verses are remarkable for their numerous and diversified references to sin. These verses highlight the substitutionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered as a result of our sins.
The word “wounded” means to be pierced through and it is a word that signifies to run through with a sword or a sharp object. This occurred after Jesus’s death when a Roman soldier dealt a final blow by piercing Jesus with a spear to verify his death. The word “bruised” speaks of the crushing experience that Jesus had on the cross. The word is the strongest expression in the Hebrew language to denote a violent and painful death. These are the afflictions and sorrows which are blessed Lord sustained on our behalf. The last scenes of Jesus’s earthly life are filled with sorrow, pain, and ugliness. And yet Isaiah tells us that all of this was done for our peace. The Hebrew word peace- “shalom” speaks of having a general well-being and of peace in the heart that is the result of the peace with God. Our punishment fell upon the servant who was an innocent man. His death appears from outside circumstances as a horrible defeat and ruin for him. When in actuality his death was on our behalf, and all of our sins had been laid upon him. When people express the idea that they don’t need Jesus’s sacrifice on their behalf they are minimizing the seriousness of their sin problem. There is nothing that we could do that would satisfy the righteousness and justice of God for the sins that we have committed. But God allowed his Son to be a sin offering for us. There is nothing that we could do in our power to ever begin to satisfy God for the sins that we have committed, but God took the initiative through His Son to make provisions for each and every one of us.
Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,”(Rom.3:23 KJV). Isaiah tells us that we were like sheep going astray. Sheep are apt to wander and lose their way if there left to themselves. They have easily led astray and deceived, and we can also be easily led astray and deceived. But Isaiah tells us that the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Was it right that all of our sins should be laid on Jesus? From a human perspective “no” but God was acting on our behalf through His Son to make way for us to have eternal life. Jesus’s death was not an accident, but the unjust death of our Savior was part of God’s decree so that we may have eternal life through believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. What an amazing thing occurred at the cross of Jesus Christ. The sins of the whole world were laid on him, and there is nothing that we can do to pay God back for this sacrifice. All we can do is accept the gift of eternal life that God has provided for us. “All we” is an indication of the fact that we are all going in the wrong direction. In God paying for our sins on Calvary’s cross, Jesus removed the sin barrier that once stood between God and us. The peace that was purchased for us was purchased through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The sight of the cross should move us to deep and godly sorrow. Have you beheld the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? To come to the foot of the cross and consider the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and to choose to make Him our Lord and Savior would seem like the only proper response to such an amazing love.
Pastor Rich Sivo