In our earlier section of Isaiah’s prophecy, we looked at a man who seemed so opposite to what the world would expect for a savior. Born in the humblest of circumstances, without beauty or majesty, despised not esteemed—how could we believe such a one would rescue and save?
Now, as we read the following verses in the fifty-third chapter, I find myself reflecting on why the station of his birth, his looks, and worldly insignificance were just so. It would take such a man, a man who was already familiar with the pain that comes from being a refugee, a child of poverty, and even a dreaded “Nazarene” to handle the even greater pain to come.
Think on that, as you read these words:
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 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 53:4-6 NIV
I’m struck with the fact that it was not only the world’s rejection of my Savior, but that of his own people who turned their noses up at the suffering he bore. Yes, the punishment he received would have been viewed as inflicted by God. Who would believe the Savior, Messiah would endure such shame?
Those who understood the prophecies of years past.
- He was pierced for our transgressions.
- He was crushed for our iniquities.
- The punishment he received brought us peace.
- His wounds brought us healing.
I believe this message because I know how much like that wayward sheep I’ve been. I know how undeserving of God’s love I should be.
I know that I’m no wooly-white sheep, but more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Even so, for me Christ died, taking on himself my sin, my shame.
Do you believe the message? Believe it and you’ll know the peace it brings—and the price he paid to secure it.
Grace and Peace