February 23 | Bible in a Year: Numbers 7-8; Mark 4:21-41
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities.
READ ISAIAH 53:1–6
She’d called. She’d texted. Now Carla stood outside her brother’s gated entry, unable to rouse him to answer. Burdened with depression and fighting addiction, her brother had hidden himself away in his home. In a desperate attempt to penetrate his isolation, Carla gathered several of his favorite foods along with encouraging Scriptures and lowered the bundle over the fence.
But as the package left her grip, it snagged on one of the gate spikes, tearing an opening and sending its contents onto the gravel below. Her well-intended, love-filled offering spilled out in seeming waste. Would her brother even notice her gift? Would it accomplish the mission of hope she’d intended? She can only hope and pray as she waits for his healing.
God so loved the world that—in essence—He lowered His one and only Son over the wall of our sin, bringing gifts of love and healing into our weary and withdrawn world (John 3:16). The prophet Isaiah predicted the cost of this act of love in Isaiah 53:5. This very Son would be “pierced for our transgressions, . . . crushed for our iniquities.” His wounds would bring the hope of ultimate healing. He took on Himself “the iniquity of us all” (v. 6).
Pierced by spikes for our sin and need, God’s gift of Jesus enters our days today with fresh power and perspective. What does His gift mean to you?
By Elisa Morgan
REFLECT & PRAY
Dear God, thank You for Your gift of Jesus, sent over the fences in my heart to meet my need today.
How have you experienced God’s pierced love? How have you seen Him transform a broken life by His amazing grace?
Beginning in chapter 42 of Isaiah, we find many references to the “Servant of the LORD.” From chapters 42-48, the “Servant” sometimes refers to Israel or to a godly remnant with indirect references to Jesus Christ. But chapters 49-53 clearly indicate the “Servant” is Jesus. For example: The Servant’s extreme humiliation through a beating that grotesquely disfigures Him will be followed by such exaltation that men will bow in awe before Him (52:13-15; Philippians 2:1-11). The Servant will be despised and rejected because His appearance will differ from Jewish Messianic expectations (53:1-3). The Servant will suffer and die a violent death for our transgressions as the Lord lays on Him the suffering we deserve (vv. 4-6). Adapted from Knowing God through Isaiah.