Took On: Punishment, Transgressions, & Iniquities

Took On: Punishment, Transgressions, & Iniquities

This morning, we continue our new message series entitled, “Took On” as we journey together to the cross and on through to the resurrection of Jesus!

Through this series, we’re looking back to the prophetic word fulfilled by Jesus found in Isaiah 53.  Here, we find a list of life burdens that Jesus took on Himself.  Jesus took on these burdens so that we can live life in freedom from them!

Isaiah 53:4-6 (NCV)

4 But he took our suffering on him

    and felt our pain for us.

We saw his suffering

    and thought God was punishing him.

5 But he was wounded for the wrong we did;

    he was crushed for the evil we did.

The punishment, which made us well, was given to him,

    and we are healed because of his wounds.

6 We all have wandered away like sheep;

    each of us has gone his own way.

But the Lord has put on him the punishment

    for all the evil we have done.

So far, we’ve been encouraged to know that through the cross, Jesus took on the physical burdens of our sickness and disease and the mental and emotional burdens of our pain and suffering.  Today, we’re learning from a simple verse that has an incredible impact on our lives.

Have you ever spent the day with someone, talked for hours and hours, and when somebody asks you what the two of you talked about, you can summarize it in just a few words?  Perhaps you’ve read a huge book about a very complex subject and when you finished it, you could explain that subject in just a couple of sentences?

Some people seem to have a gift for going on and on and on and complicating something very simple.  In your conversations with them, they have the need to explain every little detail about everything.  It doesn’t matter if that detail is important to the story or not, they are going to let you know about it. 

They weave a huge tapestry of a simple point, thread by thread, and pull them all together in the end.  In fact, if you don’t listen very closely, you could miss the main point all together.  They are telling you a story about the doctor’s diagnosis, but you may think they were telling you a story about the weird guy in the waiting room!

Some people also have a gift for going on and on and on with no point at all.  🙂

Then you have people on the complete opposite side of this spectrum.  They are quiet and simple people that share just a few words and yet you find yourself thinking for days about what they said.  They said a simple phrase with a few words and you find yourself building your whole life philosophy around them.

In this prophetic word of Isaiah in verse 5, we find such a statement.  He uses just a few, simple words.  However, the profound revelation of those words are tremendous!  Isaiah, prophesying about Jesus, said:

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)

…he was pierced for our transgressions,

    he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on him,

    and by his wounds we are healed.

Depending on the translation of the Bible which you are reading from, you’ll find a variety of ways of saying these simple words.  Their meaning remains the same, though.  We already spoke a few weeks ago about the last phrase of this verse, that by His wounds, we are healed.  Let’s now take a look at the first three phrases.  Jesus was:

pierced for our transgressions

crushed for our iniquities

punished for our peace

None of us like to consider nor discuss our sin.  In fact, we don’t even like to call it that.  We use other terms such as mistakes or weaknesses that sound less harsh and that take the responsibility off of us.  However, sugar-coating these things do not take the weight of them off of our back.  It is what it is.  Sin, rebellion, wickedness, and transgressions are just that no matter what we call them otherwise.

Whether intentional or unintentional, sin is sin.  God is good, loving, and compassionate.  God set a standard and we came up short.  God set the law and we broke it.  God said “All of this is yours, but just not this.” and we went and took that anyways.

Rebellion and wickedness.  Each and every one of us are sinful.  In fact, we were born into it.  None of us needed to be taught to steal, kick, hit, scream, or lie.  No, as toddlers, we see clear evidence of this Biblical truth that we are born into sin.  All of us needed to be taught how to be good and how to do what is right, not to sin.

The very first man and woman chose to listen to the voice of the enemy over God’s.  They chose the one forbidden fruit instead of the abundant goodness that the rest of the garden provided.  They chose a curse over a blessing and death over life. 

They sinned and we all choose to follow their folly.  Isaiah said it very nicely, “Like sheep, we have all gone astray.”  Isaiah then said the consequence of that straying as it is, not so nicely.  Jesus was like a lamb being lead to its slaughter.  He poured out His life unto death.

We can’t share the gospel, the good news, without also sharing why it is good news.

Say for example someone shows up at my door and tells me that I am a free man, not having to be in prison.  I’ll probably thank him and then go about my day unchanged aside from being concerned for the mental health of that guy.  It just wouldn’t make any sense to me.

Now let’s say, for example, that a state police officer shows up at my door, cuffs me, takes me off to prison, leads me to a court room days later where a judge condemns me to life in prison for a law that I broke not knowing anything about that law nor the life-sentence that it came with.  Then, weeks later, that same guy shows up at my prison cell and tells me that I’m a free man, no longer having to be in prison.

My response will be quite different, right?

Good news is only good news in contrast with reality.  Being healthy and able to cook up some pancakes at home isn’t good news until I learn that every one of my neighbors is hospitalized due to the Corona virus.  Good news is only good news in contrast with our dark reality.

What is our reality?  Let’s call it like it is.  We all deserve hell and that’s exactly where we all were heading at one time.  The penalty of our sin is death – spiritual and physical.  We were all dead in our sin. 

We weren’t always aware of it, though.  At some point, someone made us aware of our condition and how it didn’t have to be that way.  Our current lives and our destination could be different.  In fact, our lives could be vastly better!

What is the good news of the gospel?  God has freely given us the gift of eternal life and an abundant life here in exchange for our sin.

We deserve death, but Jesus took it on Himself instead.  Jesus paid the penalty of our sin on our behalf.  Jesus was:

pierced for our transgressions

crushed for our iniquities

punished for our peace

Jesus was pierced.  A crown of thorns was forced on His head and his wrists and legs had nails driven through them holding Him on the cross.  The blood of Jesus poured out.  He was pierced for our transgressions.

Transgressions is the Hebrew word pesha` (peh’·shah) meaning the actual penalty of our sin and rebellion against God whether intentional or done in ignorance.  Jesus took on Himself the penalty of our sin.  He was pierced for our transgressions.

Jesus was crushed.  He was arrested, beaten, and spit on.  His life and ministry were crushed as He stood accused and condemned at the hand of false witnesses who were paid off to give their false testimony at an illegal trial held in the middle of the night.  He was physically beaten with rods and scourged with whips that tore His flesh off.  He was crushed for our iniquities.

Iniquities is the Hebrew word `avon (ä·vōn’) meaning the guilt that comes with the penalty of wrongdoing.

If you speak with those who have been imprisoned for wrongdoing, you’ll find that worse than the physical jail cell is the mental one forged by guilt.  In fact, long after the prison term is served and the penalty paid in full, the guilt remains as a burdensome, haunting reminder of that wrong-doing.

Most of us have experienced this.  We wronged someone in some way.  They forgave us and no longer hold it against us.  However, we find it hard to forgive ourselves.  Guilt can be just as burdening and crushing as the penalty of sin, itself.  Jesus took on Himself the guilt of our sin.  He was crushed for our iniquities.

Jesus was punished.  He hung on the cross, gave up His life, then lay dead in the grave for three days.

Punished is the Hebrew word muwcar (mü·sär’) meaning discipline or correction. 

This is actually a good concept.  It’s the same word used for the scenario when we as parents intentionally put into place a consequence to teach and correct our children away from something bad and toward something good.  Jesus took on Himself even the discipline accompanying the consequences of our sin.  He was punished for our peace.

Jesus took on Himself our sin totally and completely in every way.  Jesus was:

pierced for our transgressions

crushed for our iniquities

punished for our peace

That’s the good news!  Jesus took on all of the bad that we deserve and instead freely gives us everything good.  He give us forgiveness in the place of guilt, mercy in the place of punishment, and grace in the place of helplessness.  We did everything wrong and yet we can be at peace as if though we never did.

What we could never do on our own, Jesus did on our behalf!  Jesus lived the perfect, sinless life.  He then took on the punishment for all of the wrongdoing that we did.  Instead of punishing us, He freely gives us all of the blessings and benefits of living that sinless life which we didn’t earn.

This morning, Jesus is calling you to cast all of your sin, all of your guilt, all of your shame, all of your condemnation all of it on Him.  He already paid the price, the work is already finished.  Jesus is offering you, right now, in exchange for your sin these awesome benefits!  Paul reminds us in Romans 8 that if we accept this free gift of salvation purchased by Jesus, that:

There is now no condemnation for us, we have been completely set free (v1-2)

The same Spirit the rose Jesus from the grave lives in us (v11)

Not only do we have eternal life, but God is also giving a new life to our mortal bodies through the Holy Spirit (v11)

We are not slaves, but have been adopted into God’s family (v14-16)

Since we are now children of God, we are also royal heirs of His Kingdom (v17)

Even when we don’t know how to pray, the Spirit will intercede for us (v26-27)

God will work all things that happen in our lives together for good (v28-30)

God is for us and no one can stand against us (v31)

God has justified us and is interceding on our behalf (v32-34)

We are more than conquerors (v37)

Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love (v35-39)

This morning, you can cast off all of your past sins.  Jesus took on your sin so that you can be completely free of them.  Free of the penalty, free of the guilt, even free from the discipline of them.  Jesus was:

pierced for our transgressions

crushed for our iniquities

punished for our peace

Your sins have been cast as far as the east is from the west; to the bottom of the ocean floor!  Be at peace because there is no condemnation for you anymore!  Jesus is interceding for you.  He is for you and not against you.  He is rooting for you and believing in you and doing everything He can do to ensure your success!