Thursday, January 7, 2010

But the LORD was pleased to crush Him

Isaiah 53: 10 - But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief;

I've struggled with this verse since I first read it. I have never quite been able to understand how it would be pleasing to God to crush Christ and make Him a guilt offering for our sin. I mean, it would make more sense to me if the verse said, "But the LORD was exceedingly sad to crush Him, putting Him to grief." That makes sense to me. But that's not what the verse says. And I've had a hard time getting that to jive with my ideas of what should and should not be.

Until the week after Christmas.

I took the girls to a local park that has a display of LOTS of Christmas lights and a fun carousel that my toddler has discovered and loves to ride. All of these things are quite a distance from the car, and my routine is to park, put the baby in the stroller, and let the toddler walk with me. This works really well, as I can push the stroller with one hand and hold the toddler's hand with my other one, if necessary. All was well and good, until we got out of the car and were halfway to the carousel and I realized it was colder than I had anticipated before leaving the house, and I had under-dressed the baby.

We got to the carousel and rode it (a few times, if you must know). When I went to put the baby back in the stroller, I knew I could not leave her so under-dressed and cold. So I covered her with my jacket. It was very cold, and within a short time, I was miserably cold.

BUT, I was pleased that it was me that was cold, and not her. The colder I felt, the more pleased I was that she was warm. I found my heart not only willing to suffer for her comfort, but eager.

It struck me in that moment, what this verse means. Since Christ is God, it is true to say that God was self-sacrificial, taking our sufferings on Himself, and it pleased Him to do so, because He knows we could never bear the weight of His punishment that is due to us, outside of Christ. I can imagine that the worse the suffering got, the more pleased He became, because of His great love for us, and His intense desire to spare us from His righteous wrath against our sin! I pray you can feel the weight and significance of this, even if you do not have a relationship with Christ.

(And if you do not have a relationship with Christ, I pray that you would stop what you are doing, and ponder this truth, and seek Him while He may still be found! He suffered and died in your place, and He waits for you to turn to Him. I pray you would not rest until you believe.)

I want to encourage you to ponder this verse and what it means in your life, that God took your punishment on Himself, and it pleased Him to do so. I pray it causes you to worship, praising His holy name!