“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. ” (Isaiah 53:4, NIV)

This verse continues the theme of the previous verse that Jesus indeed understands pain and suffering because He came as our substitute.  He came to bear the pains we experience in life.  For this reason, we have a Savior who understands and can relate to the experiences of our darkest days.  It is important that we understand and see God’s grace in all of this. Jesus bears all of this because of His deep love and compassion for us.  We have a God who desires to be in a relationship with His creation and performs works of redemption so that He might make that relationship possible.

It would be a shame if we were to conclude in all that Jesus went through on our behalf that we would “consider Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.”  Jesus didn’t just run into a string of bad luck.  He wasn’t the victim of the circumstances that surrounded Him.  We need to be mindful that Jesus was a sacrificial offering, not a passive victim.  His life was not taken from Him.  He gave up His life.  Jesus is the “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  It is true that He bears God’s wrath on the cross, but it is only because His love moved Him to be a willing sacrifice.

This Jesus that you and I believe in is very unique.  He came into this world for one purpose: to reveal to us how much God loves us.  He willingly offers Himself to the sufferings of this world so that He might save and redeem us.  In doing so, He bears everything that separates us from God.

Peer into the sufferings of Christ today.  Look beyond the wounds and the pain.  See the heart of God who is willing to endure all of that because He loves you.

Peace!

Pastor Tom

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