Isaiah 53:10 It was the Lord’s will to crush him.
I don’t think that I stop and truly ponder and treasure this verse. Easter is coming up next week. I see crosses placed outside churches along the road. Not one looks rugged or has blood on it. The crosses are all neat, very decorative, and placed just so. That is not how Jesus suffered and died.
I love to watch college football and this time of year, college basketball. My interest is always peaked when the score is close and a victor is made in the last drive or the last drawn up play. It makes for great highlights. People leave the stadium or venue hoarse from all the screaming and emotions. In the end, it is just a game but somehow it resonates within us.
Imagine with me, a preacher standing before his church on Sunday and bringing up a lamb to illustrate what happens next week. People politely nod in acknowledgment of the symbol and some even give that holy grunt of affirmation. The pastor then begins to kick the lamb with focus and intent. The senses and the emotions of the people are now fully awake. Any daydreams of what was for lunch, did I turn my phone off, or what time do the colts play has scurried out of their mind and they are trying to rationalize what they are seeing. The pastor then brings out a large stick and hits the lamb. People gasp. The Lamb never makes a sound. Blood has begun to run off the stage. Mothers hide their children’s eyes in horror. Men are paralyzed with what to do. There is blood on the pastor’s shirt now. This goes on for the entire sermon. Almost forty-five minutes of agony and sorrow played out before their very eyes. The lamb looks like road kill and is completely mutilated and red. This would make the news. PETA would sue the church and boycotts would be planned immediately. All this over a lamb (NOTE: I in no way condone cruelty to animals but am trying to shock your senses and stir your heart.)
The soldiers strip Jesus and surround Him; It was the Lord’s will to crush Him. They placed a hood over his head and struck him wanting Him to prophecy who hit him, It was the Lord’s will to crush Him. Soldiers spit in His face; it was the Lord’s will to crush Him. Soldiers took a staff and struck him on the head while the company jeered lusting for His blood, it was the Lord’s will to crush Him. His flesh is torn from his ribs and back by metal and bone, it was the Lord’s will to crush Him. He hung unrecognizable between two thieves; it was the Lord’s will to crush Him. He cried out “My God, My God why have you forsaken me,” it was the Lord’s will to crush Him. Sinless and without blemish, It was the Lord’s will to crush Him.
I begin to glimpse what my sin caused my Savior. My heart is overwhelmed that he was crushed for my sin and the punishment that brought us peace was placed on Him. Don’t sanitize the gospel and saving power of Jesus Christ. The cross was grotesque. The jeering and insatiable appetite of the soldiers was fierce. The wood was soaked with the guilt offering blood of Jesus. You will have to fight the images you see to bear the sorrow within your soul of that moment in time. It’s not pretty. His grace and love are beautiful. Thank you Jesus that you alone paid the price for my broken and busted life so I could be brought into a right relationship with Almighty God.