May 16, 2022

JD Wilhelm
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:4-6

In Isaiah 53, a picture is painted of a character who has become known as the suffering servant. In this middle section of the chapter, the first thing we should notice is that the suffering servant is bearing the consequences of actions that do not belong to him, meaning he is not at fault. We can infer this because of the use of the words “we” and “our.” The use of this inclusive language is important because we, as the reader, now see that we have a place in the story that is being told. We realize in this picture that we are the ones who have transgressed, and we are the ones who should be suffering the aftereffects of our iniquity. This is a tragic scene. The great tragedy is that someone else, Jesus, suffers and pays the price for our sin!

But I want to remind you, just as I was reminded this week, that this scene is ultimately not tragic because God had the final word. That final word included even the promise that not just us but the servant himself saw something of God’s healing purpose within his agony and was satisfied. That is why we can rejoice as we make the statement: by Jesus’ wounds, we are healed. When we see Jesus through this lens as the one who suffered for you and for me, it brings new weight to how we live as a result of experiencing the redeeming love of Christ.