Thursday, April 05, 2007


Maundy Thursday

Continuing on Isa 52:13-53:12,

Third Stanza
v. 4 borne our griefs … carried our sorrows … we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
Jesus took our griefs, our infirmities, he carried our sadness. We grieve, we have infirmities and we have sorrows because of our original sin. We are the fallen race and with it comes the sickness, diseases and sadness. And yet, when Jesus died, do we think of him as stricken and smitten by God and nothing to do with us?

v.5 wounded for our transgressions … crushed for our iniquities … upon him was the chastisement … his stripes
He was crushed, by the sins of the whole world that weighed heavily on him.

And why did he have to do that? Because:

v.6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

How should we explain sin? Do we currently live in a world that does not understand sin? “As the Chinese saying goes, I did not commit murder, I did not commit arson, I have done no wrong, so why do I need someone to save me? I could have just told a lie, Jesus had to die for that?”

John Stott wrote in his book, The Cross of Christ on “The Gravity of Sin” (IVP, 1986: p.89-90):

    The very word ‘sin’ has in recent years dropped from most people’s vocabulary. It belongs to traditional religious phraseology which, at least in the increasingly secularized West, it is now declared by many to be meaningless. Moreover, if and when ‘sin’ is mentioned, it is most likely to be misunderstood. What is it, then?

    The New Testament uses five main Greek words for sin, which together portray its various aspects, both passive and active. The commonest is hamartia, which depicts sin as a missing of the target, the failure to attain a goal. Adikia is ‘unrighteousness’ or ‘iniquity’, and ponēria is evil of a vicious or degenerate kind. Both these terms seem to speak of an inward corruption or perversion of character. The more active words are parabasis (with which we may associate the similar paraptōma), a ‘tresspass; or ‘transgression’, the stepping over a known boundary, and anomia, ‘lawlessness’, the disregard or violation of a known law. In each case an objective criterion is implied, either a standard we fail to reach or a line we deliberately cross.

    The emphasis of Scripture … is on the godless self-centeredness of sin. Every sin is a breach of what Jesus called ‘the first and great commandment’, not just by failing to love God with all our being, but by actively refusing to acknowledge and obey Him as our Creator and Lord. We have rejected the position occupied by God alone. Sin is not a regrettable lapse from conventional standards; its essence is hostility to God (Rom 8:7), issuing in active rebellion against him, It has been described in terms of ‘getting rid of the Lord God’ in order to put ourselves in his place in a haughty spirit of ‘God-almightyness’. Emil Brunner sums it up well: “Sin is defiance, arrogance, the desire to be equal with God, … the assertion of human independence over against God, … the constitution of the autonomous reason, morality and culture.”
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Christ took our iniquities, our sins and bore the punishment for us, because we have gone astray, we have gone our own way. We have removed ourselves from the way of God and walk our own self-glorified way instead. And that way is the way to death. Christ has come to take away that death from us. He died that death so that we might be raised when he rise from the dead.

O we like sheep, have gone astray,
We have turned to our own way,
The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all,
So we might live when on him we call.

Picture by Elma Avdagic

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