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.
Never was someone treated so unjustly as Jesus was. Absolute good was attacked by absolute evil. And that evil was our evil, shared by all humanity. Our sins, along with those of the whole world, were like the nails that pinned him to the cross.
Sometimes in our churches we skip over the excruciating suffering that Jesus endured for us on the cross. When he took our place to pay the price of our sin, Jesus was pierced and crushed and afflicted, “led like a lamb to the slaughter.” He was mocked and ridiculed. He was forsaken by God. Yet Jesus chose to take on that suffering for us. Even the thought of the agony he would experience caused him to sweat drops like blood (Luke 22:44).
Our salvation was made possible through Jesus’ agonizing physical pain. Our salvation is a very physical event. God did not just “save souls”; he saved whole human beings. In the new heaven and earth we will have perfected and restored bodies (1 Corinthians 15). We will live in a renewed, physical creation.
Christ’s salvation for us was a gruesome, physical affair. Thank God that our bodies and our physical world are saved through Jesus, who not only died for our sins but also suffered for them.
Jesus, you suffered excruciating agony for us. You did so because of the joy it brought you to welcome us back into fellowship with our Father. Thank you for bearing our pain. Amen.
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