“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hid 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.” Is 53.3-6
I praise God that he is “familiar with pain”. A man of suffering, my Great High Priest knows my heartache firsthand, not just because he created me, but because he experienced it himself. But Jesus is not only familiar with my trials and sufferings; he is deeply acquainted with the pain caused by my own hand. Like the people of Israel in the book of Judges, so often I live my life with no king, doing whatever seems right in my own eyes. He takes the pain that I can’t control and the pain I deserve for myself…. And by his wounds, I am healed.
Praise You, Jesus.
“ 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….
See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heart about.” Isaiah 52: 13-15
There is such contrast in these verses. God is proclaiming that his coming Son will prosper, and to further explain that prosperity he brings us to Jesus’ crucifixion. Not exactly what I’d consider prosperous, being murdered by your own creation as the consequence of their sin. This word translated as “prosper” (yaskil in Hebrew) is used in other places as the natural result of wisdom or prudence. It’s like God is saying that Jesus acted wisely, and therefore will be eternally exalted and prosperous because of that wisdom.
I find great encouragement in this truth. Jesus suffered hard. He was broken physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally. But He did so in wisdom, knowing that He was building a legacy. Through this act of sacrifice, Jesus would reap the prosperity of millions of hearts turned back to their Father in repentance and transformation.
This is the incredible beauty of our God. He puts pain in our lives, just like He did in Jesus’, but promises us that He will redeem that pain. I find such comfort in knowing that as I wrestle-out this life against the flesh and the “evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world”, I am gaining ground for the legacy that will come after me.
A favorite artist of mine just put out his first worship album. This song, based on Isaiah 52 and 53, is incredible, both lyrically and musically. Listen to it and worship the greatness of our sacrificially-loving God.
The might of Yahweh stands revealed
And by His wounds we all are healed!