by: Carole L. Haines
Jesus Himself told us He must suffer, be handed over, and die:
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and be raised on the third day… And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. But while everyone was astonished at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, “As for you, let these words sink into your ears: for the Son of Man is going to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not comprehend it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.”
I am amazed at how selective my hearing can be. It seems the disciples may have had the same issue, because what a shock to have Jesus ripped from them as He was. How would we have responded? I can only venture a guess, but I imagine, I may have denied him, lied and fled too, in the fear and shock of the moment. My heart needs to grow up so much more in Christ. It seems the more I am transformed, the more transformation I see needs to take place in me.
But Christ suffered specific wounds for specific areas of human redemption. Let’s look closely at Isaiah 53:5
“But He was pierced for our offenses,
He was crushed for our wrongdoings;
The punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him,
And by His wounds we are healed.”
There are four different sufferings, for four different maladies of mankind.
- Pierced- for our offenses
- Crushed- for our wrongdoings
- Punished- for our wellbeing
- Wounded- for our healing.
We will begin to look at each of these wounds and how they bring healing to our lives through the power of Christ’s sacrifice for us.
- Pierced: First of all, Christ was pierced in both His hands, both His feet, and in His side by a sword in the crucifixion. One hand at a time, both feet at once, and the side after He had already died. The Word pierced means-
to wound (fatally), bore through, pierce, bore.
It also means “polluted, dishonored.”
Our Mighty Savior, Jesus, allowed this to be done to Him for our sake. He was polluted with all of our sins, dishonored, though He was God Himself. He was pierced four times in the crucifixion and suffered many piercings as they pounded the crown of Thorns on His Head. This suffering is declared to be for our “offenses.” Other translations use words like, rebellion and transgressions. Christ suffered this violence to His own body for us, the children He created. We know He is our creator because The Gospel of John tells us that He is the Word and that, “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1, vs.3)
Our Holy Creator suffered for us, His creation. For our rebellion, our sin, our transgressions against His Holiness. I would like to look at one more suffering of Christ,
2. “He was Crushed for our wrongdoings.”
Crushed, bruised, destroyed, broken in pieces. This is what the word means. Jesus was torn apart with the lashes. He was beaten and bruised for our wrongdoings. Other translations use the word wrongdoing as iniquities. The Strong’s concordance defines it as, “perversity, depravity, iniquity, or guilt.” Iniquity has been explained to me as our habitual sins, the ones we fall prey to often. Jesus suffered the violence of being crushed under the blows that were due to us. Isaiah says:
“By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off from the land of the living
For the wrongdoing of my people, to whom the stroke was due?“
We put Jesus on that Cross. We are the ones to whom that stroke was due. Precious Jesus, Savior, King and Lord. As we reflect this week on the sufferings you bore for the sins of the world, the wounds you bore in Your own body for our sins, our hearts grow heavy with the injustice of it all. You took on what we could not, suffered, so You could offer us redemption, a free gift of Your grace. Again, Jesus, there are just no words deep enough to give you our thanks. Please take our lives to use for Your glory, we offer them freely back to You for all You have done for us. Increase our love for You this Easter Season Lord. Increase our love for You. Amen