“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5, NIV).
Throughout human history, man has been unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions. We see this in the first human beings, Adam and Eve, who traded Paradise for a taste of forbidden fruit. Before their shamed exit from Eden, each placed the blame on another. “…‘The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree…’ ” (Genesis 3:12, NIV) were the excuse-laden words of Adam. Eve’s response to God was no better, that “…‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate’ ” (Genesis 3:13, NIV).
In Isaiah 53:4-5 we witness further scapegoating and blame-placing. The prophet states that “…we considered (Jesus) punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4, NIV, emphasis added), as if God the Father was at fault for all that Jesus went through on the cross and that we were virtually blameless. But consider Isaiah’s words. “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering…he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53;4-5, NIV, emphasis added). Clearly it was our sin that led Jesus to the cross, and any role that the Heavenly Father played in Jesus’ suffering and death was born only out of necessity.
I find it difficult to think of God as a wrathful, vengeance-filled Father, who would take any sort of pleasure or satisfaction in the bloodied execution of his beloved Son. Rather, I imagine the Father’s thoughts wrenched and his heart broken. Surely it offended him to see the sin of the world embodied in the sacrifice of his Son, but it pained him even more to see all that Jesus had to experience to redeem mankind.
Truly, God’s love is great, and it’s aimed directly at our hearts. Jesus died momentarily that we would live eternally. Let’s honor the sacrifice he made.