Written some 700 years prior to Jesus’s life, Isaiah spoke of Israel’s coming salvation. According to Isaiah, the Lord’s servant would suffer great pain for the people of God. In Isaiah 52:13–53:12, the prophet describes what will happen to Jesus: he will be despised, rejected, stricken, afflicted, wounded, crushed, and oppressed to name just a few. What great suffering, especially for someone who was innocent. Yet Jesus’s suffering was not for nothing. He was “crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus suffered and died for our sins. He bore the weight of our sin, the sin that separated us from God. Through his suffering, we have been reconciled with God. We have been given peace between God and ourselves.
During this Lent season, we must constantly come back to Jesus. As we approach the hope of Easter, we must also remember the despair of Good Friday. On that Friday, the sinless One was beaten, ridiculed, and ultimately crucified for the sins of humanity. Despite his willing obedience to go to the cross, Jesus suffered immensely, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In the midst of death, all but a few of his closest friends had deserted him. By the time he got to the cross, Jesus was already in excruciating pain. When he was crucified, it wasn’t just the pain of nails piercing his wrists and feet. The pain and ultimate cause of death from crucifixion was asphyxiation. Jesus would have had to push up on the nails in his feet to breathe, causing great pain to surge through his body. When he came down to rest from the pain, he would have barely been able to breath. Finally, while hanging on the cross, Jesus no doubt felt the weight of the world’s sin and, more so, the wrath of God against our sin. Yet he bore all of this for us, for our sin, for our peace with God.
- Take some time to contemplate the suffering and death of Jesus. Ponder his crucifixion and the suffering he experienced.
- Isaiah says by Jesus’s suffering we were healed. How has Jesus healed you?
- When you think about what Jesus experienced because our sin, how does it make you think about sinning in the future?