Devotion - March 28, 2015
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
A prisoner on death row. A convict being prepared for lethal injection. A man on a cross…
He must have been a very bad man. He must have done something terrible. He must be getting what he deserves…
Is that what we see happening on a hill outside Jerusalem?
From the perspective of a first century observer, standing at the cross of Jesus, what do you see? A man on a cross. But not just any man. He is supposed to be some sort of spiritual leader. Yet he is a man condemned. A man suffering. A man dying. A man separated from God! God has stricken him. God has smitten him. God has afflicted him. He must be getting what he deserves.
But wait. Look again.
From the perspective of the 700 BC prophet Isaiah, looking at the cross of Jesus, what do you see? A man on a cross. But this is no ordinary man. This is the Son of God, the promised Suffering Servant, the Savior. He is not getting what he deserves; he is sinless, perfect, holy. He is getting what we deserve. He is being pierced for our transgressions. He is being crushed for our iniquities. He is wounded and punished for us.
Now. Once more. Look again.
From the place where you stand or sit or kneel today, pondering the cross of Jesus, what do you see? Your infirmities taken up. Your sorrows carried. Your transgressions, your iniquities, your punishment—on him. And because he is the sinless, suffering, serving, saving Son of God, you see peace, healing, forgiveness.
Look again. You have peace, healing, forgiveness. In Jesus.
Lord Jesus, bless me as I look again upon your cross, pondering all that it means for the world and for me. Amen.
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