It seems to be a consistent theme in scripture that man forgets God. This is because we choose autonomous self rule instead of the surrendered rule and reign of the Almighty. This seems to still be an issue in my own heart. God save me!
Let us remember and reflect on the reason that we have for rejoicing in this New Year. The words of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 were spoken around 680 BC and are about the Exalted Sin-bearer. The substitutionary atonement of Christ is at the core of the Christian faith. Remember Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.
1) He was beaten beyond recognition. 52:14
2) He provides salvation for many nations. 52:15
3) He was not born into majesty, had no distinguishing external features or privileged in any way. 53:2
4) He was (and still is) rejected by men (our minds are naturally blinded by sin). 53:3
5) Acquainted with sorrows & grief (how could the Creator not be sorrowful at the abject depravity and rejection of His creation?). 53:3
6) He bore our sins, yet humanity did not understand or desire His sacrifice. 53:4-5
7) He was pierced for our transgressions and it is by His sacrifice that we are spiritually reconciled to God. His suffering addressed the wicked root of our terminal disease – sin manifested as autonomous self rule. 53:5
8) Like stupid and helpless sheep, we all have gone our own way – no one sought Him or saw need for His sacrifice. Despite our ignorant, hard, rebellious hearts, God laid the punishment due to us on Him – the innocent lamb of God. 53:6.
9) He did not complain, despite the cosmic inequity of His sacrifice on our undeserving, unwanting, unbelieving behalf. 53:7
10) He was wrongly condemned by unrighteous, oppressive, godless judgement. 53:8.
11) He was condemned as a common criminal, yet He was totally morally pure – the only acceptable sacrifice for sinners. 53:9
12) It was God’s will to crush His son under the weight of sin and His wrath; God makes and meets the demands to make us holy. 53:10
13) His suffering was not only physical, but also a soul level despairing. The holy, unstained, pure, omnipotent Creator experienced sin and His father’s associated wrath. For the first time in all of eternity, God turned His back and withdrew from His Son. Jesus experienced pain, suffering, despair, hopelessness, rejection and death on our behalf. 53:10
14) His suffering and punishment became an offering for our guilt, cosmic justice was served. 53:11
15) His perfect sacrifice will make many righteous. 53:11