Despised. Rejected. Pierced. Crushed. Beaten. Whipped. For me.
Read that line once more, maybe even out loud. Receive it again, as you received it the first time —the moment when He found you lost, far away, and most in need of His redemptive work.
Can you recall what it felt like to discover that Jesus had taken your place, dying a brutal death that was meant for you? When was the last time you thanked Him for it or imagined yourself taking on that punishment, fully aware that it’s what you deserved?
I will admit that I don’t consider His crucifixion enough. I think about it, I sing about it, I’m thankful for it, but I stop short of recalling the brutality of it. I don’t allow myself to relive the pain of it. Instead, I’ve become satisfied with watering it down, sanitizing it, and removing the blood and gore to make something that shouldn’t be easy to think about easier to think about. In doing so, I’ve often cheapened this most invaluable gift. The Lord’s death for me was gruesome, and I owe Him every bit of the sorrow and grief I feel when I fully acknowledge that truth.
So, I’ll read that line again: Despised. Rejected. Pierced. Crushed. Beaten. Whipped. For me. And this time as I read it, I won’t shrink back from the details. I’ll breathe through each thought of His agony and anguish, reminding myself that He was completely innocent and this was the death I deserved. I’ll allow myself to feel the pain of remembering His sacrifice as I read through more of Isaiah’s words:
He was oppressed and treated harshly.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
He was unjustly condemned.
He died without descendants.
His life was cut short in midstream.
He was struck down.
He was buried like a criminal.
He exposed Himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
For me. And for you. He took on a death we could never have managed on our own. Aren’t you grateful? Let’s consider who we are (who we were!) and all we’ve done, as we receive this massive gift in a fresh way today.
Sinful. Undeserving. Quick to forget. Afraid to remember. Fully loved. Worth dying for.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.Isaiah 53:4-6 NLT