Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;

by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,

make many to be accounted righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.

Isaiah 53: 11

 

Isaiah wrote these words about 700 years before Jesus was born; yet, He describes exactly what Jesus would accomplish in His short time with us on earth. He truly suffered in many ways. Jesus felt what the Father also feels, for the weight of people’s sin was heavy upon Christ throughout the days of His life. He walked in the paths of our pain, and He responded to the needs of our souls for reconciliation with God and for the deep healing that would bring about a return to dwelling in the presence of our Lord. Then, after living among us and entering into our lives for a period of time, Jesus took all that we had done to separate ourselves from holiness and He also grasped to Himself every aspect of sin that would come in the future so that anyone who would choose to be reconciled to God could be so saved. This great sacrificial act was needed so that you and I could know the fullness of life and enter into the reality of being alive for eternity.

 

So, Jesus brought many people out of death and into life. His offer of grace and peace with our Creator is extended to everyone; yet, some say yes to it and others continue to reject this free gift that Christ holds out to us. Because of the fact that many do not choose to hear and to accept the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God calls all of us who do know Him to speak out about this faith that has saved us and to live openly in the freedom that Christ has given to us in order for the world to see how and why submission to Christ brings about the sort of joy and peace that it does. Christ desires that each of His people would live so that our lives would be an on-going testimony to His great love and to the way that we have been released from captivity to sin. In Christ, we have a purpose in life that is noble and that conforms to God’s desire to redeem the world and that joins in His plan to accomplish this goal.

 

On that day over two thousand years ago Jesus carried away my sin, and He did the same for everyone else, too. Now we each are granted that opportunity to embrace God’s gift of redemption. If we have already done so and entered into the new life that Christ’s presence grants to us, then we are traveling along a road that leads ever farther into God’s will. This is a journey of faith that asks us to continually submit to the Lord and to yield ourselves to His transformative work within us. It is also a life of entering into the deep joy that comes from dwelling in Christ’s presence. For people who have not accepted the gift that Christ’s death and resurrection provide, this day grants to them an ideal time to turn life around by surrendering to the only one who can save the soul and to the singular source of that new life, Jesus Christ.

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;

by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,

make many to be accounted righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.

Isaiah 53: 11

 

God gave Isaiah a very strange gift. He provided him with a view of events that would not happen for almost 800 years. Additionally, this ancient prophet seems to have an understanding of the fact that the effects from those events would still be playing out today. Isaiah expresses one of the most important realities that we can understand and accept. Christ suffered great pain and distress as He lived and died on this earth. I do believe that this suffering was a very accurate reflection of the same agony that God, the Father, endures as a result of our rebellion against and rejection of Him. So, Christ experienced pain in His body that was, itself, a weak image of what He was feeling in His soul.

 

Christ was not just experiencing the pain that sin brings upon this earth, but He was taking on the punishment that each of us deserves personally. Yet Christ’s acceptance of our guilt and the necessary payment for our crimes against God and His Creation was a singular act that continues in its impact and effect throughout the remainder of days. The sacrifice that Jesus made upon that cross and the resurrection work that God did next are a completed operation that covers the sin and bridges the gap of separation from God for everyone who accepts Christ. This is true for all of the generations of humanity to follow.

 

So, this is the reality of life as we live it today. In Christ we are listed in God’s ledger book of those who are righteous. As we accept the Son as our Lord and Savior the sinfulness of our lives is transferred to His account and God views us as blameless. Thus, Christ calls to us to live out our lives as a true expression of this reality. We are holy ones of God. Our lives and the way that we conduct them are important to our Lord, and the words and the actions of our days matter to His Kingdom here on earth. Christ’s anguish has gifted us with the peace and the freedom to live fully in His presence and to let our lives be bright beacons of truth and love in our world.