“ He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 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 53:3-6
As we read yesterday, this passage just a few verses prior discusses how Jesus had no outward reason to attract our attention. Here, we see that at the very climax of his life, when everyone is finally looking at him, we purposefully looked away. We dismissed him. God in human flesh, sacrificing himself for every person on the earth, and he isn’t enough to keep our focus. Instead, we wander off, following whatever wooly, pea-brained distractions cross our fancies.
But in the unparalleled love that forms the very fiber of His character, Jesus resolutely continues, purposefully pursuing the cross while we disregard him with thoughts like “not-worth-my-time” or worse, “he had it coming”. Jesus shows the discipline and devotion we so clearly lack, and shows it to allow us into relationship with Him! And because of His unrelenting commitment, we have the humbling privilege of experience an incredible irony. We dismissed Jesus, and He died. But if we acknowledge Him, God dismisses our sin.
“The punishment that brought us peace”. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Healing. It’s incredible….