by John D. Morris, Ph.D.Â
â€œAll 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.â€ (Isaiah 53:6)
As Christ hung on the cross, the Jewish leaders felt that He was guilty of blasphemyâ€”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: â€œWe 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 afflictedâ€ (vv. 3-4).
But not so! God did not punish Him for His sins, but for ours. â€œHe was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquitiesâ€ (v. 5). â€œFor the transgression of my people was he strickenâ€ (v. 8).
The penalty for sin has always been death, and even though â€œhe had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise himâ€ (vv. 9-10). He was the perfect â€œoffering for sinâ€ (v. 10) and â€œhe bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressorsâ€ (v. 12). Justice has been served! â€œHe shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify manyâ€ (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 â€œall we like sheep have gone astray,â€ Godâ€™s justice has been satisfied, because Christ, in love, has taken upon Himself â€œthe iniquity of us all.â€ As in the hymn: â€œLove so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.â€ JDM