The LORD’s Servant

Surely he (The LORD’s Servant) has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – every one – to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  ~Isaiah 53:4-6
 

            To Isaiah was given this prophecy concerning the coming servant of the Lord.  Written over 700 years before Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, this chapter of Isaiah points to his ministry as the one who suffers for others by the will of God.  Consider what great truths are in these two verses!

            This coming servant would bear our griefs and sorrows and was pierced for our transgressions.  It was for us that he suffered!  The punishment inflicted upon him by God was for us!  We all go our own way naturally.  We all violate God’s commands many times over.  We all deserve the judgment of God.  However, God was pleased to place the guilt of humans on his chosen servant. 

            Paul, in the book of Romans, marvels at this gift.  He states that no one dies for a merely righteous person.  Perhaps, for a good person, someone might dare to die.  Jesus, however, died for us while we were yet sinners.  While we were in rebellion against God.  While we stood guilty and spiteful toward God, Jesus died in our place.

            The passage states that those who saw Jesus considered him “smitten by God.”  They looked at the one who was crushed and pierced and concluded that he deserved it.  The irony is, Jesus was smitten by God.  He was punished by the Father on the cross.  There on the cross, Jesus became the embodiment of our sin according to 2 Corinthians 5:21.  He was smitten by God, but it was in our place for our sins rather than for his own. 

            This is a great and incredible gift for all we who went our own way.  Before we celebrate Easter, we remember the death of Jesus.  As we approach this remembrance, give thanks to God for his incredible gift to us.  Jesus paid our debt.  Jesus died in our place.  We are free because he stepped in as our substitute.  Think on this and give thanks to God for his great love and mercy.


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