Isaiah 52:13-53:12

In reciting the Apostles’ Creed, we acknowledge that Jesus “suffered under Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.”

There is so much hidden in those words, for how do you adequately describe the personal sacrifice of Jesus?

In my opinion, Isaiah’s words give us the best insight we can attain into both Jesus’ individual suffering and the corporate grace that He achieved for us. 

In God’s economy, things are not always as they seem.  Certainly, Jesus tried to help us comprehend this through numerous parables that articulate that the Kingdom of God is not like the kingdom of this world.  But we are slow to understand.

And so when the Lord’s servant came as one who “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,” we “despised” him and “esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:2-3). 

Jesus was not who the Jews had expected – or frankly, wanted – him to be.  And, ironically, it led to the suffering for which He came. 

I cannot read this passage of Scripture without recognizing the role I played in the cross.  Perhaps we cannot understand the cross until we truly own the fact that it was we who put Him there. 

“We considered him stricken by God,” and yet it was because the Lord “laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4,6). 

It was my sin and my brokenness that caused His humiliation, His piercing, His crushing, His death.  I cannot point the finger at another.  It was the sight of my iniquities that caused the Father to turn His face away. 

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer… (Isaiah 53:10)

Oh, this Friday is good, for it is on this Friday we are reminded that there is love greater than ours, power stronger than death, and redemption we never knew possible.  On this Friday, we are reminded that we were bought at a great price, but it is because we were considered precious by our Creator.  It is this day that reminds us Jesus, whom we worship, is our Messiah.

My righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.  Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.  For he bore the sin of many, and made interecession for the transgressors.  (Isaiah 53:11-12)

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