Isaiah 53:5 (GW)
5 He was wounded for our rebellious acts. He was crushed for our sins. He was punished so that we could have peace, and we received healing from his wounds.
The book of Isaiah in the Old Testament is often referred to as the fifth Gospel. The reason is that Isaiah makes such accurate prophecies concerning the life and ministry of Jesus. Isaiah 53 is titled The Suffering Servant. Isaiah is given a prophecy about the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
However, if you really meditate on the verses in Isaiah 53, you will see that God makes some outrageous claims. Just consider our memory verse for this last week.
He was wounded for our rebellious acts. When we read of innocent people getting hurt in a drive by shooting, we are outraged. Where is the justice? These people have done nothing to deserve getting injured or killed. They were not part of the problem. Isaiah is prophesying that Jesus is the innocent victim. We have rebelled against the authority of God. God has every right to quell the rebellion. Jesus, the obedient Son, gets injured. Where is the justice?
He was crushed for our sins. I remember watching a movie once where they placed a board on the chest of a person. Then they began to place heavy stones on top of the board. The person was slowly being crushed to death. Our sin carries weight. The weight of just one sin is enough to sink us to hell. Isaiah prophecies that our sins crush Jesus. Imagine Jesus being forced to lie on His back. A board is placed on His chest. God takes each one of our sins and places them on the board. Each sin is enough to sink us to hell. Jesus is buried under these sins. Again, where is the justice? Shouldn’t you and I be outraged that He is buried under these heavy sins, none of which are His?
He was punished so that we could have peace. When we sin, we are actually declaring war against God and His authority. In a war, the winning side gets to declare the terms for peace. You and I are no match for God. He’s the One who spoke, and the universe leapt into existence. How can we fight against such power? God sets the terms for our peace. Yet, He sets them against Himself! Instead of requiring a great tribute, price, or punishment from us, He actually steps in and punishes Himself! Jesus, the sinless Son of God, is punished as the terms for our peace with God! Does that sound fair? Shouldn’t you and I be outraged over this?
and we received healing from his wounds. Isaiah completes the picture of Jesus’ paying the price for our rebellion with these words. Sin has made us sick. We are not physically sick (although it can happen) but spiritually sick. The evidence for this is found in the fact that we continue to sin. We know that sin is wrong. We know that sin leads to death. We know that sin is an act of war against God. Yet, we return to our favorite sins anyway. Each time we think, “This time, things will turn out differently. This time God won’t know.” Sin has caused our minds to become sick! We can’t think clearly. We accept as normal the very things that are abnormal and harmful. God tells Isaiah that only by the wounds of Jesus are we healed. Only by the blood flowing out of His hands, feet, side, head, and back are we healed. This blood is our medicine. Why? Because when we look at Jesus on the cross, in all His agony, do we finally see the ugliness of sin. His blood not only pays the penalty of our rebellious sin but also clears our minds to see the truth of sin and God’s great love for us. God hates sin, but He loves you! Sin must be punished; God punishes Himself. The innocent steps in for the guilty. The innocent is punished so that the guilty can walk away free. Outrageous!
Outrageous, yes, but also necessary! What outrageous love God has for you and me! The truly outrageous thing in all this (that which causes outrage) is our response to this love. Too many of us shrug our shoulders and simply grunt, “That’s nice.” Nice? It is not nice; it is outrageous! An act of outrageous love on our behalf deserves an outrageous response from us. It deserves a response worthy of its action. The real question is, “How will you respond to God’s outrageous act of love for you?”