By Will Graham
While the New Testament details the crucifixion extensively, my own personal belief is that there is no greater text dealing with the suffering of Christ than Isaiah 53:5: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
As we near Easter—a time in which we remember and celebrate the finished work of Jesus on the cross—I’m once again reminded of this emotional, poignant passage. This single verse shows so much about our own human brokenness and Christ’s incredible sacrifice.
When Christ suffered, it was not pointless suffering, but it was in order to meet four of man’s greatest needs.
Isaiah says that, “He [the Messiah] was wounded for our transgressions …” The word for transgression is that of rebellion or revolting. In other words, we have rebelled against God and His commandments. We’ve sinned against Him, and we need forgiveness.
God’s answer is that He sent His only Son Jesus to shed His blood in order to forgive us of our transgression, our rebellion, our sin.
Hebrews 9:22 says, “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Christ’s blood sacrifice on our behalf paved the path for forgiveness of our rebellion.
Man is not only rebellious, but he is guilty and deserves punishment for breaking God’s commandments. When we break laws in society, punishment is given to us. For example, we receive a fine when we are caught speeding. However, when we break God’s law, the punishment is death. (Romans 6:23a: “For the wages of sin is death …”)
Therefore, man’s need is not necessarily to get out of punishment or a reduction in punishment, but man needs a substitute. Jesus was wounded, bruised and chastised. Not because He had done anything wrong. He did it for our sins. And because Jesus loved us, He chose to take our place. He became our substitute.
Since we broke fellowship with God, our natural human status is in conflict with the Lord, which is the opposite of peace. Knowing this, God gave His Son to take the wrath and appease God’s holy nature. Man was in debt to God and God paid His own bill.
Jesus’ chastisement on the cross enables us to have peace with Him, because Jesus paid the debt and satisfied God’s wrath.
Due to our own actions, we allow sin to come into our bodies and start to bring about death. This is spiritual death, and because it is spiritual, we need a divine cure: Jesus.
Christ’s death on the cross allows spiritual healing to come to our dying souls. By His wounds we are healed.
Our sinful human nature is not a surprise to God. Yet in His love for us, He provided a way for us to find forgiveness, substitution, peace and healing through Jesus.
What Are You Missing?
Perhaps as you read this, you are beginning to realize that you’ve never found forgiveness, or healing or peace. Because you’re missing these key elements, you’re struggling to do the right thing, trying to earn your way to heaven, only to fall time after time.
If this sounds familiar, now would be the perfect time to find out the true meaning of Easter, and place your faith in the One whose death and resurrection we celebrate this season!
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
Will Graham is the Vice President and Associate Evangelist at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. For more information on the BGEA, visit https://billygraham.org. This article was reprinted with permission.