We all, like sheep, have gone astray
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV) Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 52:13 through chapter 53 contains some of the most detailed and rich prophecies concerning the Messiah. The most comforting are those in our passage for today. Man's greatest infirmity is sin. His greatest sorrow is his estrangement from God. Jesus took that upon Himself while He was on the cross. We cannot comprehend the horror of the sins of the world, but Jesus could. He still took it on for us. Even in the process of dying for man, He was cursed, mocked, and insulted. They implied that He deserved it for being a liar. Yet He suffered through it to the end.
Why was He pierced? For our transgressions! Why was He crushed? For our iniquities! Make that personal. The only way we could have peace with God is for someone to pay the sin debt we owed. Someone had to be punished for the rebellion against God and all His goodness. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him.
How could we be healed from this disease of sin that so permeates our nature? By His wounds, we are healed! Every one of us is like a dumb sheep that wanders away from the Shepherd that cares and looks after us. We wander off into dangerous areas in which we can be attacked and devoured by the Wolf. If we were caught and killed, it would serve us right, for we have refused to follow our loving Shepherd. Yet, the LORD laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all.
Consider: How grateful, how thankful, how forever indebted we are to Him!