LoS: Isaiah – Exposition (53:4-7)

took-our-sickness4Surely he took up our infirmities

       and carried our sorrows,

       yet we considered him stricken by God,

       smitten by him, and afflicted.

Death by crucifixion was considered to be a sign of rejection by God Himself: “If a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his body is hung on a tree, you must not leave his body on the tree overnight. Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.”(Deuteronomy 21:22,23).

5But 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.

To ensure that Christ was indeed dead while He hung on the cross, “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” (John 19:34)

To ensure that the Good News would burst forth into a desperate world, the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:1-5)

6We all, like sheep, have gone astray,

       each of us has turned to his own way;

       and the LORD has laid on him

       the iniquity of us all.

Jesus Christ told us that He is the Good Shepherd: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

7He was oppressed and afflicted,

       yet he did not open his mouth;

       he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,

       and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,

       so he did not open his mouth.

Consider first Christ in Gethsemane, praying in such a state of anguish that sweat like drops of blood fell to the ground. He knew full well the agony that lay ahead. We tend to focus on the physical suffering because it’s something that we can relate to. But isn’t it likely that the spiritual suffering would dwarf the physical into insignificance? We simply can’t possibly grasp the full extent of the suffering required for Christ to pay for the sins of all humans that ever have, do or will exist.

Now consider that with one simple miracle in the presence of Pilate or Herod Christ could have avoided this future of unimaginable misery. And yet, He was silent, meekly following His Father’s good and perfect will, being led to the cross; “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

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