Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Wounded for Me

Isaiah 53:5-6 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.

Three men hung on three crosses. Two were nailed for their transgressions. Tried and convicted for their crimes, they suffered the agonizing death sentence of crucifixion. They paid  for their crimes against Rome with their life. The third man was pierced for a different reason. He was not wounded for his transgressions, but for mine. He was not crushed for his iniquities, but for mine. Jesus died in the place of his people. Jesus suffered in our stead. The Romans found the two thieves guilty, but Pilate said, I find no fault with Jesus. The bodily pain Jesus endured is unimaginable. Remove from your mind the paintings and statues where Jesus hangs on a cross, with a few drops of blood upon his brow. No, the physical torture of the cross is beyond compare (Psalm 22:14-17); but they pale in comparison to the suffering of the Lord for our sins. Here, on the cross, the Lord Jesus received the punishment I deserved for my sins, and paid my sin debt. He was my substitute, dying for me and paying my pardon with his blood. 

Like sheep, we have all gone astray, going our own way. Caring nothing for Christ, we walked and wandered wherever we desired to go. Caring not for the voice of the shepherd, lost in the darkness of this world. The hymn tells the story, “Years I spent and vanity and pride, caring not my Lord was crucified.” Before salvation, we are like a sheep without a shepherd. A sheep will wander wherever it pleases, but won't find his way back home on his own. Without the care of the shepherd to protect, lead, and feed, the lost sheep is subject to many dangers. But we were not without a shepherd. The Lord, came to rescue His sheep. No man took his life from Him, but He laid it down to give his life for mine. As I turned my way, for myself, and my pleasure, my Lord turned towards Golgotha and was wounded for my transgressions. While I wandered astray looking for peace and comfort, my peace was purchased in His body on the tree. While I looked for fulfillment and satisfaction in sin, and by His stripes I was healed.

The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. The prophecy weaves back and forth between the people's perception of Christ versus the reality of Christ’s work. Jesus did not die as a martyr for a cause. He did not die as a sinner for his sins. Jesus died as the scapegoat. Jesus, the lamb of God, dying to expiate our sins. The just for the unjust.

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