Read Isaiah 52 – 57
Weep over Jesus (52:13-15; 53:1-12)! God reigns-Jerusalem redeemed (chap. 52); Israel, the restored wife (chap. 54); Note 54:17 & 55:8-9; Grace for salvation (chap. 55); Obedience rewarded (chap. 56); Repentance forgiven (57:15-21); But condemnation for sinful leaders (56:9-12); And idolatrous worshipers (57:3-14).
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth (Isa. 53:6-7).
There is a question that you might have heard asked. This question has an easy answer, but is often times difficult to explain. The question is this: Why did Jesus have to die?
The answer to that question lies here in this text from the Book of Isaiah. In these words, we can find answers to virtually all the questions about the death of Christ. We find here not only why He died but also how it all made a difference.
So, let us first examine the “why” part of the death of Christ. The easy answer to this part of the question is, simply, mankind; Christ died for mankind.
Man sinned and fell away from God. This verse describes us as sheep, and it is an apt description. Adam and Eve allowed themselves to be led astray by the serpent in the garden, thereby bringing sin into the world. This sin placed a gulf, or valley, between God and man. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Rom. 5:12).
Since that time, it has been the desire of God to restore man to his former relationship and fellowship with God. He knew man would be disobedient to His Word. Therefore, the plan to redeem man was made before man even existed. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
There was no angelic being that could have stepped in to become the atonement for the sins of man. No human being could sustain the weight of every sin that ever had been committed, was being committed or would in the future, be committed. There was only one individual meant for this purpose. That was Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
How would Jesus make the difference with His death? Jesus would take all the sins of repentant sinners upon Himself and die in man's place. Because Jesus was Jesus, He would rise victorious over sin, death and hell. Therefore, man's sin debt would be paid. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).
Jesus would become the bridge, across the gulf or valley, that separated God and man. We need to cross this bridge to obtain the righteousness of Christ. Jesus took on our unrighteousness so that we might be able to obtain His righteousness.
Thought for Today:
Because of our iniquities, Jesus was despised, suffered and died.
As the One who was rejected by His own people (Is. 53:3; comp. Luke 23:18; John 1:11); remained silent when He was falsely accused (Is. 53:7; Mark 15:3-5); was buried with the rich (Is. 53:9; Matt. 27:57-60); and was crucified with sinners (Is. 53:12; Mark 15:27-28).
52:1 uncircumcised, heathen (those without a covenant with God); 52:10 made bare His holy arm, revealed His power; 52:12 rereward, rear guard; 52:14 visage, appearance, countenance; 57:4 sport yourselves, ridicule; 57:17 frowardly, rebelliously.
Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins and ask the Lord to restore the joy of your salvation (Ps. 51:1-3,12).
Optional Reading: 1 Peter 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 90:1-2