Isaiah 53:3-4: “He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!”

Jesus was despised because we thought He was being punished by God.

That reminds me of the situation Job ran into, when He lost everything, including his health; and when he sat in the dust scratching the sores he had all over his body, his friends came and essentially said: “Everything’s your fault! God is punishing you for your sins.” Jesus experienced with Job how cruel and judgmental we can be, and of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Neither Job nor Jesus was being punished for his sins.

Whether we become witnesses of a sad scene, or we see someone at his or her breaking point, we should never jump to conclusions. In most cases our hasty conclusions are plain wrong, and the damage our snap judgment calls create may cause a lifetime of pain.

Who likes to hear that Jesus’s suffering on the cross is our fault? Well, unfortunately, it’s the truth. Jesus didn’t do anything wrong, so His pain is 100 percent our doing – but here is the good news: Jesus is not mad at us. He suffered greatly at our hands, but He suffered willingly. He wanted it that way, because His goal was to eliminate all judgment calls, whether they are inappropriate or justified. He took the blame and accepted all punishment there is. Now, what is left for us?

  • Peace – with nothing left to blame, punish, or judge;
  • Healing – coming from a Savior who has been in our shoes and has all the empathy for our cause that we can hope for.

Jesus was absolutely serious about accepting all punishment on our behalf. We can bank on that. Provided we believe that this is for real and accept His costly gift, we will indeed experience healing and wonderful peace. Jesus picks up our broken pieces and makes us whole again. It’s the beginning of a friendship that goes beyond our lifetime. And who does not want to be befriended by God’s Son?

“On my way, as I travel on this road of life, I know I’m not alone. Jesus, You are my friend.” (Song lyrics by Basically Two, Bill and Evelyn Snyder)

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