Propitiation (for Good Friday) – April 4, 2023 (99/365)

For Good Friday

Isaiah 53

Who has believed what he has heard from us?

And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

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.

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.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

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.

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.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth;

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered

that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death,

although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief;

when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;

the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,

make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,

because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors;

yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – Seen in Social Media profiles and car stickers. Quoted by celebrities and written on buildings. And we get that we are loved by God, but as we keep going, we see something we’ve always been talking about throughout all this time – That we cannot talk about God’s love for us without talking about Jesus Christ.

Indeed, if we believe in Christ, who is the Son of God, we shall not perish but have eternal life. But how shall we believe in Him? Friends, it is by knowing God’s love, and a good place for us to start is in another John 3:16:By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16)

Today, we remember the intricate details of how Christ, as a Shepherd, lay down His life for you and me. Being God, wasn’t this supposed to be easy? No, my friends, for Christ had to be born as one of us to serve as the sacrifice.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:10

It is as we have just read in Isaiah 53. This Jesus that we say we believe in, He wasn’t as remarkable as we see in paintings and portrayals.

Being despised by men, we say He took the hatred of humanity from the outside in… And being a man of sorrows, He took on all grief imaginable, from the inside out. Emptied of all esteem, He was rejected, and He was ignored.

It was for us that He was pierced, and it was for us that He was crushed. He became sin, and He was stricken, smitten, and afflicted in our place. We were the ones who transgressed. We were the ones who had iniquity.

He was the righteous One who deserved praise, forgiveness, awards and rewards, yet for our sake He was the One who took chastisement – that is, penalty, rebuke, criticism, and reproof, all so we would be the ones to receive peace.

He was the living One who deserved joy, comfort, and pleasure, yet for our sake He was the One who took the wounds, the pain, the grief – all so we would be healed.

In all that He took for our sake, He remained silent. Submitting to the will of God, He was fully aware of the suffering, the humiliation that both Jew and Gentile would afflict upon Him… and through it all, He did not open His mouth.

He kept silent, because all His trust was placed upon His Father. He submitted to the will of God, much so that He went past the pain to understand the salvation that lay beyond, that the will of the Lord would be fulfilled.

All in all, we remember 2 Corinthians 5:21. It says there that for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Today, we remember, Christ was despised and hated, for us to be accepted by God.

Christ took the sorrows, the fear and anxiety we inflict upon ourselves, that we would have everlasting joy, peace, and calm, because we have been reconciled to God.

Christ took our chastisement, that we would have His peace. Christ took our pain, so that we would have His healing.

Christ endured the cross for the joy set before Him, and for the will of God to be fulfilled, the love of God proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Thank You, Father. Thank You, for Jesus.

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