“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on 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. ” Isaiah 53:5-6
As we continue to meditate on the wonder of God’s love demonstrated in the sacrifice of Jesus, I invite you to look again at the prophetic message given to Israel in Isaiah 53. Take in the full weight of its implications. The only begotten Son of God, so highly honored and esteemed by His Father in the heavens, was rejected, despised, and held in low esteem by the rebellious mortals He had come to save. The One who was well-pleasing to the Father was chosen to be pierced, crushed, and wounded, stricken, oppressed and afflicted.
This was not just another senseless tragedy of history. This was no fluke. It was YHWH, the good and gracious God, who laid on His Son the iniquity of us all (53:6). It was YHWH’s will to crush Him, to cause Him to suffer, and to make His life an offering for sin (53:10). Why? Why would Someone so good and pleasing to God be purposefully handed over by God to such a horrific fate?
One reason our Father did this was to accomplish what nothing and no one else could: our ultimate peace and healing (53:5). The unbearable weight of our guilt and iniquity would crush us if we were left to ourselves. We would die forever, cut off from the eternal life of God – and justly so! Only the pure and spotless Lamb could be offered in place of the multitudes of the stained and guilty. Only His indestructible life (Hebrews 7:16) could be offered in exchange for so many other lives. God would not have all of humanity lost forever, and so He gave over the best of humanity to shame, suffering, and death – for a time.
As precious as the above reason is to us, Disciple, do not overlook this next reason. Our Father chose to subject His only begotten Son to such horrors for the Son’s sake as well. There was and is a glory won for Jesus through His suffering that the Father wanted Him to enjoy. Yes, we benefit greatly and eternally from what He did, but so does He! It was because of His humble submission and loving sacrifice that “God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). So let us give thanks, yes, but let us also give worship. Let us exalt and confess the greatness of the One who suffered for us. Let us joyfully speak and sing of His glory, for one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess who He truly is: the highest Lord!
Awestruck and grateful,