Update: I felt this word so deeply this week that I decided to preach it. I’ve had some ask if we would have the audio available, so here it is.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
I heard a pastor say “You don’t just read the Bible, you have to READ the Bible.” Meaning you can’t just read it and understand it. You have to study it! Rick Warren said last weekend in his teaching “40 days in the Word”: “The difference between reading and studying is, you use a pencil when you study”. So true!
Here’s something you can dive with me on. Please comment and discuss! I’d love to see your point of view (without being critical, please).
When Isaiah prophesied of the coming Messiah “he was bruised for our iniquity”, there is much to be learned and understood from it. Why was Jesus bruised for iniquity?
We need to know what iniquity is before we can know why he was bruised for it.
1: Iniquity in the Old Testament was understood to be something that is carried with a man into Shoel (hell). There was Yom Kippur, where a goat “carried” away iniquity to Shoel. I read here today a good bit of history about this (go to the link, it’s a good read anyway on iniquity):
According to Jewish tradition there were two miracles associated with this goat. The first was that the goat would be guided by God within one day to wander through the wilderness to that specific cliff, fall off, and diae a slow, painful death. The second is that a scarlet thread used to confirm the goat’s death (it was broken in half: one piece was tied to the goat’s horns and the other was kept with the priests) would turn white so that the people knew the goat was dead…
2: Iniquity is what is inside of man (meaning mankind here) that is what our tendencies to sin are rooted in. One man may have an issue with being a drunkard. Another man may have no problem with drinking, but has is easily led to extra-marital sex acts (pornography, adultery, prostitution, etc). I would describe iniquity as the sin inside of us that drives us to the ACTS of sin. Iniquity isn’t something we can QUIT doing. We can WORK iniquity (Jesus said “Depart from me you workers of iniquity” in Matthew 7:23). But iniquity isn’t the actual sin itself. It’s what we are “bent towards.”
Iniquity is just under the skin. When we sin, it’s not the iniquity that is seen by others, and that’s why we feel “judged” when they call it out. The sin we commit comes from the iniquity underneath. Just quitting the actions don’t cut it though. This is why so many people come to church week after week, cry tears of repentance in the altar (not that this is wrong!) and get back up and fall back into the same traps and fail to resist the same temptations that they fell into last week!
If you have the flu, you can treat the symptoms all you want, and “feel” better! You can quit vomiting, sneezing, coughing, and may even bring your fever down. But the flu is still there!
In Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, God warns the Israelites about how he visits the iniquity on the generations! I’m not using this as a discourse to prove or disprove generational curses, but it’s interesting how this iniquity is not actual acts of sin!
Back to Isaiah – it is prophesied that Jesus would be BRUISED for our iniquity. I find it interesting that a bruise is under the skin. It doesn’t release blood. When you bleed under the skin it creates a bruise. When the Roman soldiers kicked and beat our Savior, it served a purpose. Jesus had to shed blood for the sin you CAN see. But it wouldn’t have been complete if His blood didn’t cover what is underneath!
You CAN be free from what drives you to do the outward sins that are not pleasing to Him. Don’t stop there! Give Him the iniquity that is in your life! The Father laid your iniquity on our Saviour to be carried away and remembered no more. Don’t just stop sinning, let Christs suffering do a complete work and in you so that your desire for those sins are carried away!