Live in the Shadow of the Cross:
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6).
What a true statement the prophet Isaiah makes here about the nature of man. Like sheep who wander away from the shepherd who feeds them and cares for them, we have left God’s paths to follow our own. Instead of following God’s ways, we choose to follow our own way, seldom realizing that our own path leads to destruction. Today my prayer is that we would receive a vision of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Cross, and that we would truly understand what happened on that day almost 2,000 years ago. The Bible says that even though we are sinful human beings and enemies of God, yet still the Lord laid on Jesus our sins and our guilt. Why would He do that? Why would He punish Jesus for our sins? Why would He allow His only begotten son to go through such suffering? Because He loves us.
“He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 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.” (Isaiah 53:3-5).
Isaiah 53 is a beautiful picture of what Jesus accomplished on the Cross for us. The prophet declares that Jesus was rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth”(v.7). Why did Jesus willingly go to the Cross, when at any moment, He could have called upon His Father God to send legions of warring angels to His side to set Him free? Because He loves us. He was stricken, smitten, afflicted, wounded, bruised, chastised and whipped—and why? All for us.
The Bible says through the suffering that Jesus experienced on the Cross, He carried our griefs and sorrows. He bore our sins, our sicknesses, and our troubles for us. First of all, He was wounded and bruised for our transgressions and iniquities—our sins. Jesus’ death on the Cross purchased our forgiveness and salvation. What a wonderful gift this is. Secondly, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him—we don’t have to be worried or afraid or troubled—in Him we can have peace. And finally, with His stripes we are healed—by the 39 lashes of the whip He took upon His own back, we are healed.
Where are the words to express what an awesome and wonderful thing that the Lord Jesus accomplished on the Cross for us! He was forsaken of God, so that we never have to be! He was punished for our sins, so that we could be forgiven and set free. May the words to this contemporary worship song challenge your hearts today to live in the shadow of the Cross:
- Jesus Christ, I think upon your sacrifice—You became nothing, poured out to death
- Many times, I’ve wondered at Your gift of life—And I’m in that place once again
- Now You are, exalted to the highest place—King of the Heavens, where one day I’ll bow
- But, for now, I marvel at this saving grace—and I’m full of praise once again
- Once again I look up on the cross where you died, I’m Humbled by your mercy and I’m broken inside,
- Once again I thank you, Once again I pour out my life…
- Thank You for the cross, Thank You for the cross, Thank You for the cross, my Friend
Once Again by: Matt Redman © 2003