Wounds That Heal
Today’s scripture selection: Isaiah 51-55
Key verses: Isaiah 53:4-5
It’s one of those scripture passages I find difficult to read: words about suffering; sacrifice; death. But for thousands of years Christians have understood them to speak about their savior. The suffering servant is the one who is wounded for “our” transgressions. And his name is Jesus.
Now, theologians argue and argue about the exact meaning of these scriptures. Were they really meant to speak of Jesus of Nazareth? How can passages from the Hebrew Bible speak about Christ’s suffering so long before He was even born? Could the “suffering servant” be understood in other ways? On and on it goes.
But people of simple faith have accepted the comfort of the words, well, on faith alone.
They accept that they are true. They accept that all of humanity has somehow “like sheep, gone astray.” And, when they read the poignant description of the one who has been wounded in their place – well, it sounds just like the story of Jesus recorded in the gospel narratives.
They may not understand all the arguments; they may not be able to articulate the complex ideas expressed by theological terms like “atonement” and “propitiation.”
They just gratefully accept that, mysterious as it may be, “by his wounds we are healed.”
I am with them. Even with a bachelor’s degree in religion and a master’s degree from an accredited seminary – much of Isaiah chapter 53 – remains a poignant mystery. I am still disturbed by the idea that my transgressions were covered by Jesus Christ a long time ago. But disturbed or not – I accept it on faith – and am grateful.
How about you?
Prayer: Father, thank you for loving me enough to cover my transgressions by your long suffering grace. AMEN.