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.”

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 friends with God’s Son?

2 Peter 3:10: But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

The destruction of one thing gives birth to a new thing. That’s to summarize the purpose of Judgment Day. It is so very challenging to live through this present season of change.  Times are tough, lawlessness seems to increase, love grows cold, planet Earth being ravaged and abused. This is the time when I question my values and purpose.  Am I serving God or self-interest? Is my life about loving God and people or is it all about me?  God is the rock that will get us through the storm.  I cling to Him by clinging to His values and purposes for my life. And in the midst of the storm, let’s not forget hope:  There will be a new heaven and a new earth.  There’s an incredible Life ahead of us!

“Lord, You are my Rock.  I cling to Your Words, they are Words of Life.  I want to see Your face; I want to be close to You.  You will see Your children through the storm.”