Isaiah 53:3-4: “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.”

It was Friday afternoon in Israel and Passover weekend was fast approaching. The city of Jerusalem was crowded with people from out of town who came to attend the festival. Just outside the city limits executions, Roman style, took place. Three men were publicly nailed to a cross and left to die. One of the three men was Jesus of Nazareth. The mob was angry that day. They were especially mad at Jesus. The Messiah was expected to be strong to deliver them from political oppression. Instead they saw Jesus the Messiah weak and defenseless suffering on the cross. Some of the bystanders hurled insults at Him saying: “Save yourself if you are as wonderful as you claim to be.” Jesus on the cross was considered a fraud. If He truly was the Son of God, He would not let Himself get killed – or wouldn’t He?

It is ironic that everybody likes to judge while nobody wants to be judged. 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 deductions are plain wrong, and the damage of our snap judgment calls can cause a lifetime of pain.

Who likes to hear that Jesus’s suffering on the cross was entirely our fault? Nobody does – at least I don’t know anybody who enjoys hearing that – but here is the good news: Jesus is not mad at us. He suffered greatly at our hands, but He suffered willingly; 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 was in our shoes and has all the empathy for our cause that we can hope for.

Jesus picks up our broken pieces and makes us whole – trusting Him is the key. He has loved us long before we knew Him, and our acquaintance will soon blossom into a friendship that goes beyond our lifetime.

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