Why he came…

Isaiah 53 has always been one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It so clearly describes the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and the purpose for it.

When God came to earth he didn’t come as a great and powerful conquerer (as some were hoping for). He came as a simple baby and lived life as a simple man right alongside all of the “regular” people. Yet every person he met was changed to the core. People who saw him face-to-face made the decision to spend their life either following him or denying him. No one that encountered him remained ambivalent.

And in the end, they all watched him carry his cross to Calvary, be beaten and die as a common criminal even though he did no wrong.

Sadly some of them then, and still many to this day, missed the point. They fail to see that it was so they could live that he died. That ultimately his victory was not about defeating one specific empire but about defeating death and sin for all time. That eventually what they did with Jesus would determine which side of eternity they would come out on.

Ultimately it comes down to this. Follow Jesus, experience eternity with God. Deny Jesus, experience eternity in hell, separated from God. It really is a life or death choice and there’s no middle ground. If any other way was sufficient, then why would Jesus have had to die?

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. (Romans 10:9, 10)

Isaiah 53 —

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested?

For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.

For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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