Isaiah 53 explains much of the mission of God around our salvation. The Message version says it a little differently, but the story is the same. Man has a problem – and it is us. Isaiah writes it this way: “We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost”. Do you feel lost? Do you even recognize that you have missed the mark and fallen short of God’s plan for your life? That is called “sin” in the Bible. It means we have failed to do things God’s way. As Isaiah says it: “We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way”. This describes our issue as humans. We want to be in control, make our own decisions, do our own thing. But God has a set of standards we need to live by. He has set the rules up for this place we live on called earth. And while we are given free will to make our own decisions and do what we want in terms of choice, we are not exempt from the ramifications of those choices if they are contrary to God’s laws. That is the reality of sin. There is a price to pay when we fall short.
So with man’s problem, the outlook was bleak. God had to make a provision to deal with the sin that causes eternal separation from Him. He doesn’t want us to spend eternity apart from Him, which is where grace comes into the picture. God’s plan to deal with our sin is the grace given freely to us through Jesus. He went to the cross so we could be forgiven and healed of our sin problem. “He took the punishment, and that made us whole”. Did you get that? It is only through Jesus that we can be set free from sin. It is very clear in scripture why Jesus had to go to the cross. It was because of you and me. It was because of our independent nature and lack of willingness to submit to God’s law. Isaiah writes it this way: “But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him–our sins”! God didn’t send Jesus to the cross to punish Him, but to set us free. It was no accident: “it’s what GOD had in mind all along”. God has a plan to deal with our selfishness and self centered life. It is Jesus. “Through his bruises we get healed”. He sets us free from the punishment for sin that has to occur. God cannot just ignore it because of His very nature. So Jesus is the plan – “the way, the truth, and the life” that God has prepared for each of us to deal with the doing things our own way syndrome we all have. What a great chapter to understand God’s love for us and His willingness to deal with our sin problem. He has a perfect plan, but the ball is in our court. What will you do with Jesus?