Verse of the Day for March 31, 2016 comes from Isaiah 53, the Old Testament passage that describes the Suffering Servant, the Messiah who would be born to redeem Israel and serve as a just payment for the sins of humanity:
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]; the punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him, and by His stripes (wounds) we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one, to his own way; But the Lord has caused the wickedness of us all [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing] to fall on Him [instead of us].
In a blog entry posted last week on Good Friday, I shared a poem inspired, in part, by the providential intersection of two most significant events that occurred when Good Friday and the beginning of Passover fell on the same day back in 1998. I mentioned that at that time I participated in Holy Communion at our church on Good Friday, and although I had received the Lord’s Supper on countless occasions prior, that particular experience inspired the poetic work in which I personalized the passage connected to the Suffering Servant:
Taking It Personally
Cursed with a curse, He was hung on a tree.
The suffering servant bartered for a price,
Battered and bruised for my iniquity.
Behold the Lamb, unblemished sacrifice,
Offered once, Jesus Christ, my Passover.
Afflicted, stricken, smitten that God should
Freely pour out His mercy, moreover,
Lay on Him the chastisement of my peace.
From His side flowed water and sinless blood,
A new covenant established that I might cease
From dead works by a new and living way.
God’s good pleasure no longer concealed
But memorialized this solemn day.
Man of sorrows, with His stripes I am healed
In spirit, mind and body, for I am
Quickened and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.
Isaiah 53 also brings to mind the reality of the covenant that God made with the Children of Israel so expressed in Exodus 15:26:
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
This verse was the inspiration behind the Don Moen song of worship: “I am the Lord that healeth thee,” a most appropriate way to close today’s entry: