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  • Chad Werkhoven

Isaiah 53:1-6 - For You

Jesus became like us so that you could be like Him.


 

Isaiah 53:1-6 (NIV)


Who has believed our message

and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?


2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,

and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,

nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,

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.


4 Surely he took up our pain

and bore our suffering,

yet we considered him punished by God,

stricken by him, and afflicted.

5 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.

6 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.

 

Listen to passage & devotional:


 

Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 20: The Justice and Mercy of God in Christ


We believe that God—

who is perfectly merciful

and also very just—

sent his Son to assume the nature

in which the disobedience had been committed,

in order to bear in it the punishment of sin

by his most bitter passion and death.


So God made known his justice toward his Son,

who was charged with our sin,

and he poured out his goodness and mercy on us,

who are guilty and worthy of damnation,

giving to us his Son to die,

by a most perfect love,

and raising him to life

for our justification,

in order that by him

we might have immortality

and eternal life.

 

Summary


We often properly acknowledge that God reveals Himself - His control, authority and presence - through nature. The 19th Psalm tells us that "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." But creation, as grand as it is, only begins to scratch the surface of God's identity. If you truly want to witness "the [powerful] arm of the LORD," you need to look to Christ, who is prophesied of here in this famous passage from Isaiah.


Isaiah, inspired by the Holy Spirit, describes the two parties of the Covenant: the LORD and man, and also the mediator who brought us peace (v5). Isaiah uses harsh language in reporting the LORD's actions: He punishes, strikes and afflicts. This isn't just because He's mean or vindictive, but because these are things that a good and holy God MUST do in response to wickedness and sin.


But that's exactly what we bring to the table: transgressions and iniquities. Isaiah describes us as sheep who've wandered off, with each of us going our own way. The pain and suffering we experience is of our own doing (although there's usually not a 1:1 ratio of pain & suffering compared to a person's sin. Some people sin greatly, but don't seem to endure much pain, and others sin comparatively little but suffer immensely).


Isaiah here gets at the very heart of the gospel hundreds of years before the Messiah would actually come in the flesh, speaking in the past tense, as if Christ's work was already accomplished. He took up our pain and bore our suffering; He was pierced for our transgressions, because the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.




Dig Deeper


Clearly Isaiah 53 as a whole is all about the person and work of the Messiah, Jesus. But in these three verses we've keyed in on today, the focus is all on us:


  • He took up our pain and our suffering;

  • We considered him punished by God;

  • He was pierced and crushed for our transgressions and iniquities;

  • The punishment that was on him brought us peace and by his wounds we are healed;

  • We all have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;

  • The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.


As you're reminded of your part in this grand drama, is there anything that you're proud of? Is there anything in that list that's worthy of God's love and salvation? Yet Christ became like us so that we might become like Him.


Often times when we pray it quickly turns into a gripe session or a quick listing of all our particular needs at the moment for God to fulfill. But let Isaiah remind you that in order for you to experience the overflowing mercy of God, it was necessary for Jesus "to assume the nature in which the disobedience had been committed, in order to bear in it the punishment of sin by his most bitter passion and death."



  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who is perfectly merciful and also very just—

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the humility required to truly enjoy the peace that Jesus earned for us;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Ephesians 5

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