He Bore Our Iniquity (Isaiah 53:6)
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. —Isaiah 53:6
Sheep are notoriously foolish animals. Though they usually tend to mindlessly follow the flock, they often wander in search of greener pastures and inadvertently forsake the flock for the sake of their stomachs.
This is the condition of mankind and these verses make it clear that there are no exceptions. All have gone astray and turned to their own way, every one of us. Here is one way Paul describes this condition: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked...carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:1–3). This posture of carrying out our own desires has rightly accumulated the wrath of a holy God who hates such iniquity. But God does the unthinkable. He lays the iniquity of all on Christ and pours out His righteous wrath on Jesus—His Son.
If we strip this verse down to its core components, here’s what we get: (1) we have gone astray, (2) we have turned, (3) the Lord has laid on him our iniquity. Do you feel that, brother and sister? The imagery here is simply amazing. Foolish, wandering, mindless sheep receive mercy while the One through whom all things (including foolish sheep) were created receives wrath. This is the great exchange of the ages by which we are saved!
Let us rejoice this day that God is not only just but also “the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). Let us remember this day that all our iniquity has been laid on Christ. Notice that the word iniquity here is singular, which implies that not only have the collection of our individual acts of sin been laid on him, but the very nature that gives birth to these individual acts of sin has been laid on him.
Christian, there is nothing you can add to this divine act. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). May you rest in this good news today.
Are you in Christ Jesus?
How will you live this day in light of the good news of Isaiah 53:6?
How will you live this day to point others to this good news?