“By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?” (Isaiah 53:8, NASB95)
Notice the question mark at the end of this verse. Jesus was taken away from the world by the oppressive and judgmental act of religious leaders. They knew what their intent was. They set Jesus up to appear to be a religious blasphemer and political radical who opposed the Roman rule. But this verse asks a question regarding “His generation” — how would they see and understand the circumstances of that day? Would they see only what the religious leaders wanted them to see, or would they see that God was using their hateful act as a means to a greater end? The Lord used this moment in time to offer Jesus as a guilt offering. Jesus was not dying for something He had done. He was dying for the transgressions of His people. He was bearing the “stroke” that was due them. He was, in fact, their substitute.
In life, we are often left to interpret the events we live through. Good or bad, we attach meaning to what we experience. As Christians, we tend to want to put God in those experiences. We have no trouble finding Him in the positive experiences of life, but we often find that to be difficult in the negative times. Using Jesus’ experience, along with many other examples in the Scriptures, I contend that we must always find God to be loving, healing, calling, saving, and providing. Even in the worst circumstances, God promises that He will make good come from them. Don’t be too quick to assume He is absent in your tough times. Be assured that He is actively working to cause good to come from them.
Has God placed a question mark at the end of something you are going through? Is He wondering, in the end, how you are going to interpret your circumstances? Take the time to find His hand in what you are experiencing.