Isaiah 53:5a But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…
What specifically, did Isaiah the prophet mean when He described our sins and the absolute necessity of the Messiah
death to remove those sins? Does this mean that there was no other method by which God could cause each one of us to be worthy of heaven? What is there about sin that is so mysterious and hidden from our understanding?
Isaiah said the Messiah would be wounded for the transgressions of human beings. He was bruised for our iniquities.
Transgressions: The actual sins that we commit against each other, our selves, and God.
Iniquities: The inequitable (unjust) acts of human beings in regards to what is right.
The purpose of the Messiah’s arrival was to die for our sins. We should never miss this important point in any discussion of prophetic fulfillment. If it were not for our sinfulness, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to die. We should thank the Lord every day that He loved and cared for us so greatly that He was willing to depart heaven, come to earth, to suffer unimaginable pain and suffering for us.
When I first learned what Jesus had done for me and how greatly He had suffered, I remember wondering why the whole world did not fall at His feet in thanksgiving and gratefulness. I later learned that most of the world does not consider that any of their actions would require a Savior. By its very nature, sin causes blindness. Jeremiah the prophet wrote that we are not aware of the deception which has been perpetrated against us. Even our own heart does not allow us to see the truth about ourselves.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
When the Bible describes our present condition, it does so in terms of darkness and blindness. The idea here is that we cannot see our true condition, and how desperate and hopeless our situation is. The Bible declares that without someone to help us, not one human being could survive the future judgement for sin that is the destiny of all those who are without Christ.
Luke 3:7 Then John said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
From the cross, as Jesus hung before the world, dying for all of us, He was continually mocked, ridiculed, and accused of suffering such great punishment because He deserved to die. In reality, He had done nothing wrong, He was dying for all of us.
All of the people who were near Jesus cross while He was dying did not understand the desperate state of their lives. As Jesus endured His suffering while the sins of the world were placed upon Him, He cried out to the Father to forgive us, because none of us truly understand our present plight.
Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
Jesus was not simply addressing the cruel treatment that the Roman soldiers were committing against Him; He was speaking to every sinful act of every person, for all time: Father forgive them all… It was our sins that placed Jesus on the Cross. It was to this end and for this great purpose that He allowed Himself to be tortured to death.
Isaiah writes in this 243rd prophecy that it was for our sins that the Messiah must die.
The world was in a state of complete darkness up to the time that Jesus arrived in fulfillment of all the prophecies written of the Messiah. It had no real understanding of its condition nor the future surety of judgment. If Jesus had not come, the whole world and everyone in it would have been lost. Even the Old Testament sacrifices were only temporary—to act as a covering for sins until the Messiah arrived to perfect their redemption by one perfect and acceptable sacrifice. No sin had been removed prior to Jesus’ atonement, only covered with the hope of a future promise of God that He would remove our transgressions and iniquities forever.
Hebrews 10:1-10 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’ ” 8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Paul so eloquently describes the process whereby we are saved. Not by the continual sacrifices of the Old Testament, but by the one perfect sacrifice of the Messiah’s life, for us.
For this reason, the world should understand that all attempts at obtaining heaven by human efforts will fail. There is no amount of good works that anyone can do which would ever make it possible to obtain eternal life. If this was true, then a Messiah would not be necessary. God would not have allowed His Son to die such a vicious death if we could be saved by doing something about our condition, ourselves. The fact that Jesus had to die should give us pause to consider that our condition was hopeless. Until Jesus arrive here on the earth to die for our sins, we were all without the means to obtain heaven and eternal life.
It should be understood that because only the Messiah would have the ability to die for us, being perfect and without sin and being God Himself, no church or method of man has the ability to save us. It is foolish to rely on anything for salvation other than the One whom God has chosen to be the Savior of the world.
In the world, this is called “dogma,” firm principles which are unyielding and without exception.
The idea of one Savior for all mankind did not originate with the Christian church. One Savior, one salvation is a law that originated in the mind of God before He made the universe. Jesus is spoken of as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). God chose one way, because only His Son was qualified and willing to die for all of us. His death was essential if any person would be saved.
Without the removal of our sins, none of us will go to heaven. Only Jesus has the right, by His endless and sinless life to accomplish salvation by His death for us; therefore, He is the only way that God has provided for us to be saved.
Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Hebrews 9:22 …without shedding of Jesus’ blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. (author’s translation)
John 8:24 (Jesus said) “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins.”
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Most of us are familiar with the well-known sins such as murder, adultery, fornication, lying, and covetousness. We do not often consider the more common failures of our nature which happen every day and are just as serious.
Two people exit their cars in the parking lot of the local Starbucks at the same time. Out of the corner of their eyes, they notice each other heading for the door. Knowing that this is a popular establishment and that it is likely that there will be limited seating, both increase their steps to try and make it to the entrance door first.
While in line at the grocery store with a cart full of groceries, you notice that the person behind you has just one item. You know that it would be right to allow them to go ahead of you, but you are in such a hurry; you act as if you don’t see them.
While heading towards the freeway, a car just ahead of you and to the right, signals to get into the lane ahead of you—instinctively you accelerate your car to close the gap so that they will not get in front of you.
While talking with friends, are you really listening to what others are saying, or are you thinking about what you are going to say as soon as you have the opportunity?
When someone takes a group photo which includes you, who is the first person that you look for in the picture?
If the freeway speed limit sign indicates that 65 mph is the maximum, how fast do you go?
If the traffic light turns yellow just ahead of you, what do you do?
The change you are given at McDonald’s is $5.00 more than it should be, what do you do?
The honest person would say that in these familiar situations that have likely happened to most of us, we are tempted to act in the wrong way. Sometimes we do the right thing, but not always. Anyone who states they are never tempted to take personal advantage of any of these situations, or does not think of themselves first, would be disingenuous.
The fact that we all know the feelings that swell up within us when we are in one of these circumstances reveals that we know what selfishness is all about. The very heart of all sin is observed in our total preoccupation and consuming desire for ourselves. It is from this moral defect that all of our failures are manifested.
Our turning from self-less-ness to selfish-ness occurred immediately after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and violated His command to not eat from one fruit. It was not the fruit that was evil. It was not even the fact that Eve saw the fruit and wanted to eat from it. The failure was in not loving and trusting God to do whatever He said, because they understood that God is good, and all of His laws are set up to ensure us the maximum blessing in our life.
Notice the change between the following two verses:
Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Did you see the sudden change? Verse 25 is the condition of Adam and Eve before their disobedience to God’s law. They were not preoccupied with self; they didn’t consider their nakedness. In chapter 3, verse 7, after Adam and Eve ate from the fruit and broke their trust in God, they noticed they were naked. Suddenly, as sin has taken hold in their hearts, a change has taken place. They both notice that they are naked. They are suddenly focussed on themselves and not on God and each other.
This simple example shows us how we became selfish and why in the above examples, we know that our internal desire to do what we want to do would cause us to act in a way that was first beneficial to us, before giving consideration to other people
This is not to say that many of us would not do the right thing. Some of us have trained ourselves to act correctly in these situations. My point is that all of us feel the temptation to act in a way that is of greater benefit to us before other people.
My own practical example
While I was writing this particular portion of the book, I noticed in myself a perfect example for how our fallen nature does not allow us to see our own defects.
As a writer, I endeavor to do my best in ensuring that as few errors as possible are present in my work. I will read a paragraph at least five times after I have written it to make sure there are no mistakes. When I have finished writing, my editor reviews my work to look for errors. Despite my diligence, even after reviewing my work repeatedly, my editor almost always finds mistakes that need to be corrected.
We are often blind to our own sins. We cannot see them ourselves, because of our fallen nature. We all need an “Editor,” the Messiah, to come and fix our mistakes, and make them as if they never happened.
I have used these examples, which we often find ourselves in, to demonstrate the flaw that is within all of us. This is what sin is defined as: Self first, others and God after us, or not at all.
This defect is repeated billions of times a second, all over the earth. It is the reason that our world is so full of pain and suffering. This is why God sent us His Son to die for all of our failures and to redeem us back to a place where we can become perfect and without sin, and enjoy a life and a world that is free of this plague.
An often unknown fact of human life is that we need a Savior from the “biggie” sins as well as the common everyday ordinary sins which are a result of our self-centeredness. These less-talked-about sins are considered by many people as so common that they are not really labeled as sin at all. In fact, the Messiah whom Isaiah predicts in this 243rd prophecy; had to die for the common sins, the biggie sins, and even the ones that we commit totally unaware.
The unaware sins:
Is the Lord the most important part of your life? Is He the first thought at the start of your morning and the last thought before your head hits the pillow? When you are about to spend money on an item, do you ask the Lord first if you should? Do you consider whether the words that you say to people are just as much a part of your worship of God as going to church on Sunday morning and lifting your hands to praise the Lord?
We fail in these areas of honoring and loving God above all other things—without considering that they are just as important as the larger issues of sin and obedience.
Perhaps when I mentioned how you spend your money, considering God in those decisions, you thought to yourself: “Are you serious? We have to ask God about what we buy?” This is an area that is left up to you to decide. You can certainly make your own decisions about what you purchase, if that is your desire.
When you spend the money you have earned, where did the money come from? You worked hard, perhaps achieved an education, labored long hours to earn the money you are spending, it is yours correct?
1 Corinthians 4:7 …What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? (NLT)
John 3:27 …No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. (NLT)
According to the word of God, everything we have—came from Him. Our opportunities for education, a job, our paycheck—all these things are gifts to us from Him.
Without seeking guidance from the Lord, how many bad decisions have we made with our money? I can only speak for myself. I have forgotten several times to seek wisdom from the Lord before I make a purchase, only to discover later that what I obtained was not good, and in some instances, caused me or others to sin.
This is an area that many people do not often consider: how we spend our money, and what comes from those purchases.
Often the things that we think we need, are really just things that we want that come as a result of our desires for material possessions. There is nothing wrong with having things, as long as those things do not have us. Without seeking the Lord first in all of our decisions, we are far more likely to make bad decisions, than we would if we were to seek the Lord first and then just wait for awhile before we make a large purchase.
The area of finances is a place where many of us commit sins unaware.
Knowing Jesus does not inoculate us against committing sin
By the way, just for sake of notation here, all of the examples I used above are things that I noticed in myself as failures. I have known and loved Jesus for a little more than 39 years; and every day, I need Him to save me.
When we surrender our lives to Jesus we will not become sinless, but we should sin-less.
Several years ago, I was in attendance at a Senior Pastor’s conference with about 1,500 other men. The speaker was a well-known man of God who had been a Christian and lifelong Expositional Bible teacher for nearly 65 years. One of the men who was present rose to ask this well-respected man of God:
“Sir, you have known Jesus for nearly 65 years. May I ask you, as one man to another, when does the temptation to not look at a woman, in an inappropriate manner, go away?”
The old gentleman paused for an uncomfortably long period of time, scratching his beard as he considered the answer to this important question. Looking up into the eyes of this young man who had asked the question, in all earnestness, he said:
“I don’t know. I will have to get back to you later.”
After living longer in love with Jesus than most of us will ever achieve, this honest man told the truth. The temptation to sin and not be so selfish will never depart us as long as we occupy these bodies here on earth. Jesus has redeemed our soul, but the body remains a nest of selfishness and error. Only when we are Raptured out of this earth and receive our new perfect and glorified body will we cease to feel the temptation to sin.
For these many reasons, we all need a Savior. Jesus fulfilled this need and the impossible requirements to be a perfect Savior. All those who recognize that there is something terribly wrong within our inner-most being, our very heart, are drawn to Jesus for a way to escape sin’s grasp. Jesus has the power to set us free from the bondage of abiding sin, so that it is not an ever-present plague. Although sin will abide with us until our bodies die, the once powerful hold that it had on us has been greatly diminished, as we live and abide in Jesus. As we rest in the salvation that He secured for us, all of our known and unknown sins have been fully paid for, and we exist today as perfect beings in the sight of God.
You are the Gospel of Jesus Christ, written by your words and the way you live before people. They many not read a Bible, but they read you every day.
 Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 24 Oct. 2011.
 Robert Clifton Robinson, August, 20, 2013.
 Robert Clifton Robinson, August 20, 2013.