“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” – Isaiah 53:4-6 NLT
Lent is a time to reflect and rejoice on God’s astounding action on our behalf through the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Gospel of John says, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT) God is faithful to keep His promises!
Isaiah wrote the words printed above, almost 700 years before Jesus came to earth. God was already preparing the way for our salvation. What an amazing and faithful God we have. God wanted to bring us back into a right relationship with Him, even though we had broken God’s laws and had not fully loved God or our neighbor. So God took a radical action! God became a human being, Jesus Christ, who allowed Himself to be arrested, beaten, and crucified, taking the punishment we deserve, because we have all strayed from God’s path, we have all missed the mark of perfection God has set for us, we have all broken God’s commands, we have all rebelled by choosing to live life our way, instead of God’s way. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
By God’s radical action on our behalf, Jesus dying in our place, God’s justice has been satisfied, and we are brought back into a right relationship with God as we place of faith and trust in Jesus Christ, who died for us! Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV) We can now live our lives to the full in the freedom of God’s grace! We no longer have to lug a load of guilt around with us or live in fear of death and God’s judgement. This is the story of God’s Amazing grace!
I challenge you to read Isaiah 53 this week and compare it to the account of the crucifixion in the Gospels (Matthew 27:11-66) and see God’s prophesy fulfilled! And give thanks to our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit for God’s Faithfulness, love and grace!
Grace and peace,