Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.

Isaiah 53:4-6 (NLT)

Think about it. These words were written in the Old Testament roughly 600-700 years before the crucifixion of Jesus. A foreshadowing of events to come. Today is Good Friday, and as I read this passage in Isaiah my mind can’t help but fast forward to the day of Jesus’ death. I think about the two criminals hanging next to Jesus that day. One mocked him– “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” One believed him– “We are punished justly, for we are getting what we deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

The criminal who mocked Jesus wanted proof right then. He could not fathom that a savior, someone who claimed to be the King of Jews would subject himself to something like this. “Save yourself and save us.” The ironic thing is…that was exactly what His plan was all along. The cross was His way of saving us. He went there undeserving to heal a fallen world. I am so glad the story doesn’t end there.

“Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words.” (Luke 24: 5-8 Msg)

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