He was Crushed
AUGUST 16, 2022
In my devotions last week, I reread the famous passage in Isaiah 53 that anticipated what Jesus would do for his people. Verses 4-6 are:
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
The “he” in this passage points to Jesus and tells us that he would take up our sorrows and griefs and corruptions and sins, every one of them. They were not just “put on” him. He took them up. Jesus willingly and actively took our sins from us and put them onto himself.
In doing so, he paid an awful price.
John Calvin wrote, “By nature we go astray, and are driven headlong to destruction; in Christ we find the course by which we are conducted to the harbor of salvation. Our sins are a heavy load; but they are laid on Christ, by whom we are freed from the load. Thus, when we were ruined, and, being estranged from God, were hastening to hell, Christ took upon himself the filthiness of our iniquities, to rescue us from everlasting destruction.”
To rescue us from everlasting destruction, he became filthy with our sins. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,” (2 Cor. 5:21). And not just that, as terrible as that must have been for the sinless Jesus “to be made sin,” to be saturated with our filthiness, he was also punished, stricken, afflicted, pierced, and crushed by God. In our place, and for our sake, Jesus bore the wrath and punishment of God the Father, all of it, every bit of it. So, there is now, for the believer, no wrath and no punishment. It was all poured onto Jesus.
I’m sorry to admit, though, that as I read this passage last week, it was with a sense of ho hum. I’ve read all this before, many times. I was bored. Though I read of Jesus’ tremendous sacrifice on my behalf, I was unmoved.
But, as I continued through the rest of the chapter, I came to verse 10, “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief.”
I had already read back in verse 5 that God had crushed him for our sins. But there was something about reading here that it was the will of the Father to crush his Son on my behalf that broke through my apathy. It was the will, the set determined purpose, of God the Father to crush God the Son for my sake. Wow. Because Jesus used his body to shield me from the wrath of God, I am free from griefs and sorrows. I have not been punished, stricken, afflicted, pierced, or crushed. My mind and my affections awoke, and my soul filled with awe and gratitude.
God broke through my sinful lethargy and reminded me of his amazing grace. Are you moved by what Jesus has done for you? I pray you are. If not, turn to Jesus and run to him. Ask him to awaken you afresh to the magnificence of his grace and mercy for you. And then join me in moving forward in love and thanksgiving and worship and obedience in response to the great thing Jesus has done for us.