Translations: Chinese GB Big5

The Messiah Wounded for Us

Isaiah 53:5,6
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.

Comment

Though a victim of unjustified suffering, as Peter also notes in 1Peter 2:19-22, God and Jesus together orchestrated the events that would lead to his death. It was God's will for him to be a victim of unjustified suffering, as Jesus even indicated, "Not my will but yours be done" . It was the LORD's will for him to be crucified as a sacrificial lamb. God does not and cannot forgive sin without first satisfying His judicial nature. This is one of the ways in which the God of the Bible differs from the god's of other religions, such as Islam. For the god of Islam is portrayed as requiring no atoning sacrifice for sins, or at most only minor things for forgiveness to be granted. But God is holy and takes sin very seriously. No human sacrifice would even be sufficient to pay for the sins of the world, as it is written, "No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for himó the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough" Ps 49:7,8 Therefore God sent His Son - "The Word was with God, and the Word was God .. and The Word became flesh" John 1:1,14

Justice demands payment for sins. But justice is also indebted to victims of unjustified suffering. For these are the two arms of justice. One arm demands payment for sin. The demands compensation for unjustified suffering. As Peter noted in the 1Peter 2 passage, Jesus suffered as an innocent victim of unjustified suffering. Thus justice owed him a debt. With that debt Jesus paid for our sins. That is, the debt of believers has been cancelled by Jesus' unjustified suffering.

The effect of the atoning work of Christ was to give us peace with God. Not simply peace of mind, but rather an ending of hostility between us and God whereby we were formerly enemies, but now family. God is now our Father. We have peace with God because our sins have been dealt with. Christ's death has saved us from a destiny of eternal suffering in hell fire. And he has saved us unto a destiny of eternal joy and peace in the presence of God. But not only that. Through his wounds we are healed of our innate sinfulness. Though we experience such partly in this life, to live in the presence of God one must be sinlessly perfect in a continuous sense. This is the fate of those who trust in the Lord. God will perfect us - our minds and hearts such that as we were saved from the judgment of sin, and as we are being saved from the power of sin, so we will be saved from the presence of sin.

And for whom did he die? Whose iniquity was place upon him, figuratively speaking? Was it for good and religious people that he died? He died rather for those who go astray. The hypothetical "Good" people will be saved by their own goodness, though we know that really "there is no one good but God" Mark 10:18 . But for the rest of us that recognize that we are sinners, we have Christ.


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