Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 53:1-5 (ESV)
1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
Good Friday is often observed in somber manner, with grieving and mourning. It calls upon us as the church to think, feel, and reflect upon the darkest hours of the narrative of the gospels, and reminds us of our sin and brokenness. It is also a time where it beacons us to return back to the Lord where some of our hearts and lives have gone afar from him. But in all of the pain and suffering that Christ took upon himself for us, we must be reminded of not only the how he did so, that it would bear merely shame and guilt on our conscience, but why. We must remember why Jesus died on the cross for us, and what hope that brings for us today, tomorrow, and to lead us on forward.
He died for those who are rejected, despised, discriminated and marginalized (v.2-3) – so that we would be accepted, redeemed, and restored in his promise of new life in his eternal kingdom in heaven.
He died for those who live in grief, sorrow and affliction (v.4) – so that we would be healed and revived into his eternal kingdom in heaven where there is no more grief, sorrow and affliction.
He died for the sinner, for those who have no power over their flesh, so he broke his own flesh and shed his blood for us to bear the cost of our sins (v.5) – Christ took our place, to deliver us from the penalty of sin. His body was broken for us, so that we would be restored to his eternal kingdom and justified before him, in both body and soul.
Jesus’ death on the cross must not merely remind us of the sinners that we are, but that we are justified and free because of his great love and sacrifice for us!
“He died not for men, but for each man.
If each man had been the only man made,
He would have done no less.”