Isaiah 52-53

The Sinless Sin Substitute.

“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” ­– Isaiah 53:5-6 NLT

Chapter 53 of Isaiah is amazing. Written hundreds of years before the time of Jesus, it accurately foretells His coming, and the role He would play as man’s sinless sin substitute. It painstakingly portrays His rejection, suffering and death at the hands of the very people He came to save. He would be the suffering Servant – the innocent lamb led to slaughter – all so that He could provide a way for us to have a restored relationship with God the Father. But even as I read these familiar words from my vantage point on this side of the cross, it amazes me that God chose to save the world in this way. It reminds me of the more recent Christmas song, Strange Way To Save The World. It talks of how bizarre this whole salvation plan must have been to Mary and Joseph, as they contemplated their role in God’s redemptive plan.

Sure he must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him
‘Cause never in a million lives
Would he had dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger
He saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come to life
And Joseph said…

Why me, I’m just a simple man of trade
Why Him, with all the rulers in the world
Why here, inside a stable filled with hay
Why her, she’s just an ordinary girl
Now I’m not one to second guess what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world

To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He deserved
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth
But Joseph knew the reason
The love had to reach so far
And as he held the Savior in his arms
He must have thought…

Why me, I’m just a simple man of trade
Why Him, with all the rulers in the world
Why here, inside a stable filled with hay
Why her, she’s just an ordinary girl
Now I’m not one to second guess what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world

Why me? Why Him? Why here? Why her? Why did Jesus have to be despised and rejected? Why did He have be acquainted with deepest grief? Why did He have to be unjustly condemned? Why did He have to be struck down in the prime of life? Why was it the Lord’s good plan to crush Him? This is such a strange way to save the world. But it was God’s way. It was His plan. “And because of His experience, my righteous servant with make it possible for many to be counted righteous; for he will bear all their sins” (Isaiah 53:11 NLT).

Isaiah 53 makes it clear that Jesus died for my sins and in my place. He was struck down for the rebellion of His people (Isaiah 53:8). He bore all our sins (Isaiah 53:11). He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels (Isaiah 53:12). He carried our weaknesses. It was our sins that weighed Him down. He was pierced for our rebellions, crushed for our sins, beaten so we could be whole, whipped so we could be healed (Isaiah 53:4-5). What a strange way to save the world. But I am so glad that God chose to do it that way. The price for my sins could have been paid no other way. My debt to God could never have been satisfied any other way. My sin deserved death and God miraculously, mercifully, lovingly provided a substitute to stand in my place. He paid the price for my sins with the life of His own sinless Son. What a strange and yet amazing way to save the world!

Father, thank You for Your plan. It all sounds so strange, and at times, unbelievable. But I believe it any way and I am grateful that You chose to do it just like You planned it. Thank You for Your Son. Thank You for coming up with a plan that could provide a way for me to escape eternal condemnation and death. I know I deserved it and I also know I could never have paid off the debt I owed. You took care of it for me. Even though I never deserved it. Thank You! Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org

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