by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
As Christ hung on the cross, the Jewish leaders felt that He was guilty of blasphemy—a mere man, claiming to be God. In short, they felt that He was dying for His own sins. Their tragic misconceptions were predicted centuries before, as recorded in the treasured 53rd chapter of Isaiah: “We hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. . . . we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (vv. 3-4).
But not so! God did not punish Him for His sins, but for ours. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities” (v. 5). “For the transgression of my people was he stricken” (v. 8).
The penalty for sin has always been death, and even though “he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him” (vv. 9-10). He was the perfect “offering for sin” (v. 10) and “he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (v. 12). Justice has been served! “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many” (v. 11).
Furthermore, through His death, even our griefs have been borne and our sorrows carried (v. 4). In addition to all this, our peace has been gained through His chastisement and our healing has been accomplished with His stripes (v. 5).
Such considerations can drive us only to the most complete prostration of wonder and amazement. Necessitated because “all we like sheep have gone astray,” God’s justice has been satisfied, because Christ, in love, has taken upon Himself “the iniquity of us all.” As in the hymn: “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.” JDM