One of the most beautiful passages in all of scripture is Isaiah 53: The Suffering Servant. The prophet Isaiah penned this prophetic passage (through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) about the awaited Messiah.
For today’s post on this Good Friday, I would like to focus our attention on verse five in particular:
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.
When we initially think of wounds, we think of being healed from them, not through them. However, ponder all of the times in the physical sense that it is through pain or further wounding that one finds healing: disinfectant stings the cut, but prevents infection and accelerates healing; setting a broken bone can be an injury in itself, but is necessary for rehabilitation; putting right a dislocated limb brings a flash of searing pain, yet is imperative for restoration.
Romans 6:23 tells us “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The consequence of sin is death. Eternal death. It’s not like you pay the price of sin by dying and then everything is all right between you and God. Only a sinless, perfect-life-of-obedience-to-the-Father, life is acceptable to be in the presence of God, with unbroken communion with Him. Since we are all born with a sin-nature, we will sin as a natural result, and therefore can never of our own volition be in right standing with God. Our death must be an eternal death: death of the flesh and blood body, and then eternal separation from God forever. There is nothing we can do to satisfy God’s demand of righteousness. A sinner can never repay a debt because they are tainted. This reality of the human condition is dire and would be hopeless if not for Jesus.
God became flesh to satisfy His own requirement of righteousness, to redeem a people unto Himself. Let me say it again: God created humankind, we broke His law, and He paid our debt to Himself for us. It is the most outrageous event in history.
“who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14)
“For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. (Hebrews 2:10)
And how was this ultimate healing from the effects and consequences of sin brought about? Through His wounds and suffering. Like the bodily maladies mentioned above, it was through further suffering that true healing was obtained. We are healed from our sin (wounds) through His wounds. God and His ways are truly amazing.
Be sure of this: Jesus death on the cross wasn’t for a hypothetical people, or to make salvation a possibility, akin to opening a door and waiting to see if anyone walks through it. It was definite. It was final. The artwork by Chris Powers above illustrates this perfectly. Jesus died for a particular people:
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
“I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours” (John 17:9)
“All that the Father gives me will come to me” (John 6:37)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3-6)
This fact of particular redemption should give the believer comfort and security. As well as Jesus words on the cross: “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” The words Jesus said, “it is finished”, are translated from the word tetelestai (paid in full). Jesus paid an actual debt, not a potential one. Not only did He pay it, but it is finished! Hallelujah! Through His wounds, we are healed. Forever.
Soli Deo Gloria!