Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.
4Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. 9They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. 11Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
12Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:1-12
This past Sunday we heard the passage from John where John the Baptist tells his disciples, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” Today, from Isaiah, we hear what that means.
No pain we have ever faced or caused, no sin we have ever committed or suffered, no loneliness has overcome us, no shame has ever taken us into the depth of despair, that wasn’t laid upon the back and deep into the soul of Jesus. He has gone wherever we have, has tasted all that we mistakenly thought was sweet, and he has taken it all into himself.
Why has he done this? Because he loves us with a love that defines love. He has done this for our healing, for all that is needful to open life’s door to us.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.”
Let us pray: Our sin, your stripes. Our disobedience, willfulness, pride, and selfishness. Your love. O Lord, may that love sink ever deeper into our bones. May it spring forth in gratitude, in hunger for healing, in tolerance, in forgiveness, in peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.