Isa. 53:5 – But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…
In Isa. 53, the prophet is outlaying the means by which the redemption of Jehovah’s nation would be accomplished. Per the terms of the law contract, the nation’s transgressions had yielded the bitter fruit of covenantal chastening, and their iniquities had made a breach in the hedge whereby the adversary was permitted to enter the pleasant land and seize upon them as his lawful captive (Ps. 106:24; Isa. 49:24). As the servant of the LORD, Israel had failed. Blinded by his idolatry and deafened by his vanity, Jehovah’s servant could neither see nor hear until his spoil was fully come. Rather than being the bastion for Jehovah’s name and sending forth His light to them that sit in darkness, they walked in chains and fishhooks, and His name continually every day [is] blasphemed (Rom. 2:19; Amos 4:2; Isa. 52:5).
But alas, the unfaithful servant need not utterly despair; for thus saith the LORD: Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified (Isa. 49:3). Though the national servant was unrighteous, Jehovah had taken him from the ends of the earth, and called him from the chief men thereof! He would not cast him away nor forget him (Isa. 41:9)! The LORD would take up his cause, contend with his mighty adversary and at last redeem him from the hand of him that was stronger than he (Isa. 49:25; Jer. 31:11).
This redemption, however, would be performed by a servant of a different nature. The blind and deaf, halt and lame was no more qualified to pay the ransom than was the unfaithful servant himself. The strength that must be in the Redeemer is of a nature that would be implicitly faithful to Jehovah’s cause. He must be deal prudently in all things and succeed where Israel failed (Isa. 52:13). He must show Himself to be trustworthy and a servant in which Jehovah’s soul delighteth (Isa. 42:1). Only then could He function as the Redeemer.
Such an order could only be performed by Jehovah Himself. Only as He would make Himself to be the propitiation could justice be met and the grip of the strongman loosed from the captive house of Jacob (Mt. 12:29; Mk. 3:27)! But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end (Isa. 45:17).
The mechanics of this redemption work as performed by the incarnate servant of Jehovah is what the prophet details in the 53rd chapter of his prophecy. Jehovah’s arm moves to the sorrowful work by which He only may earn liberty for the captive, and He enters into the realm of darkness to contend with the adversary for the nation’s release. The horrifying details of the sufferings that the Messianic servant should endure are here disclosed, and the prophet writes in view of the national benefits He would secure for the nation that He came to redeem.
Now while this passage contextually deals with the redemptive work of Christ as it relates to the nation Israel, through the knowledge of the revelation of the mystery that is now revealed, we too can appreciate that the redemptive wounds of Christ Jesus were also for our transgressions and our iniquities (Rom. 16:25). In giving his life a ransom for many in His nation according to prophecy, the due time testifier of the mystery teaches us likewise that he gave himself a ransom for all (Mt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45; 1 Tim. 2:6). The same Lord that contended with the adversary for the release of the lawful captive, likewise spoiled him that we too, through Christ Jesus, might be delivered from the power of darkness (Col. 1:13). For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21). Blessed be God for the wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ!
It is in view of this that I now wish to ask my question. How does our understanding of those wounds impact our perspective as it relates to those outside of Christ? We live in a world full of hurt. We live in a world full of pain. We live in a world that is convulsing under the curse of sin. Its effects are general and apply to all, yet many more troubles attend those who have become personally ensnared by their own sinful choices. Many times our disposition as believers is one of judgment and hostility toward the sins of the world. We have a zeal for righteousness and a hatred for iniquity, as well we should! We are the enemies of all evil and must stand for truth! Right on! This is good and right, however, we must also ask ourselves how this disposition translates to our perspective and handling of those who are guilty of the sin. We are quick to condemn the sin of abortion, but do we at the same time experience sorrow with bowels of mercies for the mother who is alienated from the life of God and is desperately in need of the grace of Christ (Col. 3:12; Eph. 4:18; Gal. 1:)? In our verbal destruction and condemnation of iniquity, do we shed tears for the one bound by it? Do we reveal the wrath of God by the gospel while forgetting the love of God that He commendth toward us in that Christ died to save us from it (Rom. 1:18; 5:8)? We condemn the unrighteousness of unnatural unions and preach wrath against this sin, but do we love those sinners? Do we cry aloud to show them their sins while forgetting to also open the door of the love and grace of Christ that they might be saved? For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Luke 9:56).
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (Luke 10:33-34).
What if our attitudes and words aligned with those of our Father? What would that change in us? What if the sins that are holding so many all around us were perceived by us in terms of the wounds that Christ Jesus bore? What if, when we saw sinners lost in their terrible sins, we saw them and treated them as though they were the wounds of our Savior? Remember, he was wounded for our transgressions (Isa. 53:5)! Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree (1 Pet. 2:24). What if we perceived those sinners as His wounds? How would we then handle them differently? If we were charged with caring for the Lord’s wounds, would be so rough? Would we be so careless? Would we be so merciless and negligent? Or, would we be gentle, careful, tender and cautious? Surely we must address the matter of the sin that wounded Him, but in caring for that wound, should we not seek to heal rather than destroy? Is that not like our Father?
For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD… (Jer. 30:17).
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; (Ps. 103:2-4).
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds (Ps. 147:3).
Dear saints, he was wounded for our transgressions. He handled us gently and tenderly when we were in need. How then should we not do the same for others when He died for all (2 Cor. 5:15)? Let us reflect upon this, beloved, and allow Christ’s love to fill our hearts that we might take His gospel to those most in need, and care for His wounds as ministers of the spiritual health of the grace of Christ.