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He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

If the Word of God is a lamp to my feet, this passage is the sunshine of my life.

*******

During Jesus’ ministry, His healing was always accompanied by a forgiveness of sin. As if our maladies, our pains, or grief and sorrows are the spawn of sin. The Son sees the world differently; affliction, wickedness, unrighteousness, iniquity, transgression are all sum of one word: sin.

The Bible story begins with a world God created ‘good’ and its devolution after the primordial sin. It surmises that the decaying of the earth, and the ugliness of humanity is the wild outgrowth of sin. So naturally, that’s His target.

But the wages of sin is death, will the Just God defeat justice? No, He will deal it wholly, except not on the perpetrators. He will shoulder the full cost of the sins of the world and Isaiah 53 details the labor.

Because of sin in ourselves we are afflicted with selfishness, stricken with hate, and smitten of God’s righteous judgment.

Because of the reign of sin on the earth, there is grief, abundant sorrow and the righteous are despised and rejected of men, lowly esteemed even.

Because of this culture of sin we trespass against one another, we are infidel oath-breakers, and there is no peace.

These are the pangs, the travails, the maladies, infirmities, the pain and wailings of mankind under sin.

But Isaiah 52 reaches deeper into our condition.    

 his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—

Some of us bring pain to the altars. But some of us bring something else. The Suffering Servant was mocked, spit-on, humiliated and beat senseless, literally.. You see some of us bring a numbness to the altar,

Some of us have been so torn down in the spirit that there is no semblance to the beautifully innocent child that we used to be. ..and we were not overlooked. 

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

I shout praise for healing, but I am humbled most deeply that my God could take the carcass that I used to be and restored the gift of feeling to me. The stone that I used to call a heart has been replaced by one swollen with the Love of God, vibrant with rhythm. Indifference has become joy, bitterness has been eroded by laughter, and rancor has been defeated by Love. This is triumph and deliverance.

Some of us have been crowned in thorns, tortured prisoners of our own minds. Some of us have our beards ripped out, and our glories stomped out. Some of us are pinned, nailed even to our sins, captive to its weight. Some of us are disjointed and crippled by our circumstance so that all hope of liberty diminishes into nothing. And some of us have been pierced once badly enough that there was no life after.

We are all victims and guilty of sin.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him
    the iniquity of us all.

lamb-of-god_sinsofworld

Of us all..

Surely no pain was overlooked. Not even yours. If my obscure oblivion was vanquished, I am doubtless that the depths of the Gospel’s power could reach into your abyss, your void. And I beg you, just let it happen.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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