A Sacrificial Shepherd

The book of Isaiah contains some of the most well-known and oft-quoted prophecies concerning the coming of Messiah. Jesus Himself read from the scroll of Isaiah while teaching in the synagogue (Luke 4). Here in chapter 53, we find many familiar verses:

“He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” ~ Isaiah 53:3-4

Did you know that Jesus already knew, when He came to earth, that He would face a life of sorrows and grief, despised and rejected by those He loves? And He chose to come anyway! I am so thankful that Jesus knew it all, yet He chose to come and pay it all, for you and for me.

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” ~ Isaiah 53:5

The King James Version of this verse is probably more familiar:

“But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Because Jesus chose to be wounded, bruised, and crucified, He made a way, the only way, for our relationship with God to be “healed”, for our iniquities to be forgiven and paid for, and for us to be at peace with the holy and righteous God. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, we can accept His free gift of payment for our sin, be washed clean, and stand before God completely “healed” and at peace, clothed in the righteousness of Jesus.

“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” ~ Isaiah 53:6

We are all just sheep, easily led astray, frequently wandering off, usually oblivious to the dangers of the path we are taking. In spite of this, God loves us endlessly and deeply, unconditionally and perfectly, and He sent His Son Jesus to die for us (John 3:16). And then, since we really are sheeplike, He made Jesus our Shepherd, to guide, guard, and gently lead us in the path that is best for us. We need to listen for and follow the voice of our Shepherd and stay on the path, walking with Him! Not off to the right or to the left, not dawdling behind or rushing ahead, but walking with Him, allowing Him to lead us (see Psalm 23).

I highly recommend you read the entire chapter of Isaiah 53. In fact, I highly recommend you read your Bible daily! 🙂

“…By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities…Because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.” ~ Isaiah 53:11b, 12b

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

Have you accepted the free gift of God’s grace? Unearned, undeserved forgiveness, mercy, kindness, and love are yours when you accept Jesus through faith. Hallelujah!

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This entry was posted in Ephesians, Faith, Forgiveness, God, God's Faithfulness, God's Promises, God's Word, Grace, Heart, Isaiah, Jesus, John, Love, Luke, May 2013, Mercy, Peace, Psalms, Sacrifice, Salvation, Shepherd, The Way. Bookmark the permalink.

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