The Substitute

Isaiah 52:13 - 53:6

Behold, my servant will prosper, he will be high and lifted up, and greatly exalted. Just as many were astonished at you, my people, so his appearance was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men. Thus he will sprinkle many nations, kings will shut their mouths on account of him; for what they had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand.

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; he has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, he was despised, and we did not esteem him. Surely our griefs he himself bore, and our sorrows he carried; yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is clearly displayed in Isaiah 53. God opened the eyes of Isaiah the prophet several hundred years before Jesus walked this earth in order for him to see the purpose of Christ's salvation, Christ becoming a substitute for our sins. Jesus was pierced and crushed in our place. The exalted king took the place of the rebel subjects and bore our punishment.  Christ's death fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy, which  God revealed 700 years before it happened, when he became the suffering servant and saved his sheep that had gone astray.  Those sheep had rejected him and despised him, but he endured the cross so we could be healed.

As we approach the Easter season, I pray that you will more deeply understand the Gospel; Christ became the substitute for the death we deserved.  When we truly began to grasp how desperately we need a Savior and how he loved us even when we rejected him, we will begin to live lives that more fully reflect his glory.  Our actions will be motivated by a deeper knowledge of the depth of God's love and acceptance of us.  And as we embrace that love, it will overflow from our lives into the lives of others.

In Him,
Pastor Boyd

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