Isaiah 53:4 In fact, it was our diseases he bore,
our pains from which he suffered;
yet we regarded him as punished,
stricken and afflicted by God.
5 But he was wounded because of our crimes,
crushed because of our sins;
the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him,
and by his bruises* we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, went astray;
we turned, each one, to his own way;
yet Adonai laid on him
the guilt of all of us.
7 Though mistreated, he was submissive —
he did not open his mouth.
Like a lamb led to be slaughtered,
like a sheep silent before its shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 After forcible arrest and sentencing,
he was taken away;
and none of his generation protested
his being cut off from the land of the living
for the crimes of my people,
who deserved the punishment themselves.
9 He was given a grave among the wicked;
in his death he was with a rich man.
Although he had done no violence
and had said nothing deceptive,
10 yet it pleased Adonai to crush him with illness,
to see if he would present himself as a guilt offering.
If he does, he will see his offspring;
and he will prolong his days;
and at his hand Adonai’s desire
will be accomplished.
11 After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction.
“By his knowing [pain and sacrifice],
my righteous servant makes many righteous;
it is for their sins that he suffers.
12 Therefore I will assign him a share with the great,
he will divide the spoil with the mighty,
for having exposed himself to death
and being counted among the sinners,
while actually bearing the sin of many and interceding for the offenders.” (Complete Jewish Bible).
Too many times we allow our lives to be defined to ourselves and others by the things that we have done wrong. The past "sin" we recall could be a couple of minutes or even years ago. Once we allow our lives to be defined by failure, we then permit this error to define our relationship with God and our relationships with other people. We think that when God sees us, God only sees our failures. We also think that when other people see us, they automatically see our sins and our failures.
In today's reading from Isaiah we are told that God does not define our relationship with God by our failure. God redefines our relationship with God through what Jesus did for us through his death and resurrection. This not only renews our relationship with God; it also renews our relationships with other people.
Loving God, thank you for sending Jesus into the world to live, to suffer, to die and to rise, to overcome our sins and failures. Help us to live in the new life that you give us through this precious gift. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Josh Schunk, '04
Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church, Oelwein, IowaIsaiah 53:4 Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people.
9 They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (New Revised Standard Version).
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