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Isaiah 53:5

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Isaiah 53:5, ‘He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds, we are healed.’

See how substitution is expressed in the very structure of Isaiah’s words, like lashes falling on the Lord’s back, we hear the repeated refrain ‘He…for our; He…for our; upon Him…that brought us; with His…we are.’ He is wounded for our healing…He is crushed for our life…He is forsaken for our reconciliation…He is condemned that we might be gathered home…How can this be?

We are not told specifically here, but Paul gives us an answer in the aforementioned 2 Cor.5:21…It is because we are IN HIM, that is to say, united to Him. And why are we—we sinners, we rebels, we deicides—why are we united to Him? Because the Triune God has chosen, from all eternity, to bind His people to Himself in His Son in love (Eph.1:4-5). We are in Christ because of the sovereign freedom of God’s love…And in this love, He has taken what is ours and made it His own, even as He has taken what is His and made it our own…

Yes, and in this love the wounds torn in the back of our Lord become as lashes of healing raining upon our own sin-dead soul, every every drop of blood driven from His veins falls as living water on the dry bones of our lostness, and His ‘My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me’ secures a song of joy on the lips of His ransomed Bride.

In this image, Jesus is depicted in the moment of His presentation before the crowd (Jn 19:5). Crowned with the curse and clothed in the tattered royalty of the human race, He stands in the place of any and all who will trust Him, bearing in His flesh the death of His Beloved ones (pictured as the skeletal body of the saint)…

Yet, He looks forward in sure confidence beyond death into that resurrection life that is set before Him (Is.53:11, Heb.12:2). All those in Him (the living saint looking out from within Christ’s wounds) are gathered into this same resurrection—in spirit now, in body later. Thus, His wounding unto death becomes for them a healing unto eternal life.