Jump Start # 3065
Isaiah 53:5 “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”
On Sundays, we have a theme verse for the Lord’s Supper. Recently this was the verse. I don’t know how many times I have read this verse, but for the first time a dramatic contrast came to my eyes. There are two opposites that appear at the end of this passage. The last words of this verse are, “by His scourging we are healed.” And, in those six words we find two amazing contrasts.
First, by scourging there is healing. That is an amazing statement. The very idea of using the word ‘healing,’ implies that someone is not well. Someone may be injured. Someone may be sick. Someone may be fighting a disease. To make this person well, we would turn to medicines, bandages, therapy, and a host of things that are designed to improve life. Maybe some good ole’ fashioned chicken and noodle soup would do the trick. However, one thing that we would never, ever consider would be scourging. In modern times, we’d call this a whipping. Back then, leather straps, with bone or metal in the ends would be used to inflict severe injury. The scourging would rip and tear the flesh of the back. Sometimes, even the muscles would be ripped and in many cases the person would die. Scourging made some one worse, not better.
Yet, here in our verse, it is scouring that brings about healing. How odd, strange and backwards that seems to be.
Second, the other opposite and contrast is found in the individuals mentioned in this verse. By HIS scouring We are healed. His and we. His, is Jesus. We, are just we. Us. You and I. We are the ones who are sick, injured and diseased. The scourging happened to Jesus, but the positive impact happened to us. We are not scourged, He is. He is not healed, but we are. Something happened to Him and it made us better. Because of Him, we have life. The worst brought about the best. Pain led to health.
And, in this old prophecy, Isaiah is illustrating the cause and effect of salvation. The sickness we are experiencing is because of sin, our sin. Sin causes death. We are separated by God. It was our choice that made this happen to us. We are the ones who needed to be saved, not Jesus. We are the ones who ought to have been punished, not Jesus. The innocent made the guilty free. The healthy made the sick well. The rich made the poor wealthy. The death of Jesus led to our spiritual life. He endured what we could not, to produce what we could not. By His scouring we are healed. His death brought us life.
From all of this, some conclusions are obvious and necessary:
· We ought to be thankful daily for our salvation. The longer we are in the land of the righteous, the easier it is to take this for granted. May we never do that.
· Without Jesus, we are in trouble. Sin is more than a mistake. Sin is something that only Jesus can cure. Sin doesn’t go away. After a period of time, sin isn’t erased. We may forget about it. We may get used to it. We may become comfortable with it, but sin remains. Without Jesus, we are in trouble.
· Jesus went through the extreme to redeem each of us. This illustrates how much God loves you. Jesus didn’t die for just the good ones, but also us bad ones. He didn’t die for the wealthy, nor just for the poor. Hs death, touched every life that has walked upon this planet. His death was the one thing that every person, from every country could benefit from. It is amazing the impact that sacrifice long ago in Jerusalem had. By His scourging we are healed. The Bible doesn’t tell us whether our Lord screamed in pain. It’s hard to imagine Him not. Many who were scourged begged and pleaded for the punishment to stop. Some made promises that they could not keep. Some tried to bribe the punishers with any possession they owned. This, I do not believe Jesus did. He took the pain. He endured the blows. He knew this was just one step that would lead to the nails and then the cross and then His death. He had to go through this. He needed to go through this. Without this, we are not healed. In our times, we’d call the death of Jesus inhumane. It was torture. It was intended to be slow and painful. The quick death would be to thrust a sword though Jesus. But like a sacrificed lamb in Israel, Jesus did more than die, He was sacrificed.
· Our healing ought to lead us to rejoice more, tell more and do more for the Lord. We were dead and Jesus gave us life. We had an incurable disease and Jesus healed us. We were on a one way trip to Hell and Jesus opened the doors of Heaven for us. Maybe we complain more than we should. Maybe we fuss too much about things in church than we ought to. Maybe we have forgotten how sick and how lost we were. By His scouring you are healed.
· Finally, Jesus didn’t have to do this. He did this because He wanted to. He did this because without this we were gone. We got ourselves into this mess. How easily God could have said you got yourself into this, now get yourself out. But sin doesn’t work this way. It is so easy to sin. The door swings one way. Once you get in, you can’t get out. You are stuck. Only God can open that door and release you.
Let us have the hearts that simply want to adorn, follow and be with Lord. It was His scourging and death that saved us. It was the pain He felt that made us alive. Stop trying to change Jesus. Stop trying to repackage Jesus into some cultural image that embraces wrong. Rather than changing Jesus, let us change ourselves.
By His scourging we are healed…simply amazing.