god keeps his promises. every. single. time.
BUT 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. - ISAIAH 53:5
The Great Exchange.
We’ve been talking about the significance of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, how it’s the climax of the grand story of humanity and the fulfillment of every good promise. So today, we’re going to dive right in and discuss the heights and depths of this event. I like to think of it as an exchange, a transaction where two parties trade something. Only, it really doesn’t seem like a fair trade. As we’ll see in our verse, it looks like both the best and the worst deal ever. It’s the heights of glory and the gruesome depths of punishment all rolled into one event. It’s simultaneously the costliest, most horrendous tragedy and the most wondrous, mind-blowing, knee-bending, soul-changing event of all time. And it’s for us. It’s for all of us generally and for you and me specifically. I can’t wait for you to see it, for you to bask in it and marvel at it, to cry and lament in it, to joy and to celebrate it. I want you to see it all and worship the One who made this exchange on our behalf.
Let’s start by looking at our own part in all of this, our darkest place. This verse calls us out, all of humanity, each and every one of us for “our transgressions'' and “our iniquities”. Hey, none of us is perfect, right? Well actually, it’s waaay worse than we could imagine. All of us have transgressed God’s rules, stepping outside of his good plans and willfully going our own way. We’re also full of iniquity. The word “iniquity” carries this sense that we’re inwardly twisted in our person, not wanting the right, but wanting and excusing those things we know are wrong. If we take an honest hard look at ourselves, we should feel a real tension here. We all know it’s true, we haven’t done what we should’ve done. And the things we’ve done, said, and thought are the very things we should not have. We’ve found ourselves on the wrong side of the law, deserving God’s just punishment. What can we do? In and of ourselves, we don’t have an out. We could never pay back all of our wrongs.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
So, Jesus took our place.
Jesus lowered himself to our depths, taking on our sin and shame. Jesus entered into our prison cell and pushed us out into the light. He bore the punishment we deserved. He paid the price of our every wrong with his every right. He gave his perfect life in our stead, willingly dying in our place. He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities. Only Jesus could’ve taken our place and freed us from the curse of our sin. And that’s exactly what he did. It makes my heart hurt, and my mind reel. Why would he willingly take our punishment? But wait, there’s more.
Jesus gave us his place.
Exchanges go in both directions, right? If Jesus took our place, what do we get in return? We get his place, his position, his right standing with the Father. He took our punishment and swapped it out with his peace, peace with God for all eternity. He took the wounds we deserved and traded them with us for healing and wholeness. He took the death we should have died and traded it with the perfect life he lived. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says it this way, “Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” This is truly the best deal ever for us! Who wouldn’t want this deal? Here’s a helpful illustration. It’s as if I totaled my neighbors Tesla without insurance, and she paid the price for a new Tesla. This is a real bummer for her, and pretty amazing for me. But, here’s where it gets weird... instead of keeping the new car for herself, what if she gives it to me? What kind of deal is that? Not only is she paying the price for my mistake, but in return she’s giving me her sweet ride. Who would do that? It’s baffling! All of the benefits are flowing in one direction, and all of the costs are going entirely the opposite way. This is much like the deal that we’ve been offered in Jesus.
Why in the world would Jesus make this deal?!?!?
All of the pain is his, and all of the goodness is ours. On the surface, this looks like a pretty raw deal. We get everything and he gets only punishment. Ah, but there’s one more factor in this equation that we haven’t considered yet: love. When we ponder this crazy deal, a deep and radical love can be the only possible motivator. What if “God so loved the world” that he was willing to give up his son to save them? What if Jesus was willing to take this baffling “deal” out of love for his Father and for us? What if God loved you that much? Maybe we’ve misunderstood the equation, because we haven’t taken love into consideration. Maybe it isn’t the best/worst deal ever. Maybe to God, it’s simply the best deal ever, a costly deal for sure, but totally worth it. Did you hear that? What if God looks at you and me and says, “you’re totally worth it”? Can you even begin to wrap your head around that? Here’s the part where we bow our knees in wonder and worship. Now is the time for marveling at the unimaginable extremes of God’s love for us in Jesus. He went to every length to fetch us home, he humbled himself to every depth to give us his heights, his glory, himself. God looks at you and says, you are totally worth it! Oh praise God with me!
This love is for you. Bask in it today!
If you've never made the swap with Jesus, if you haven't embraced his love, maybe today is the day, now is the time. You'll never get a better deal!
Thanks for reading,
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