Posted October 16, 2012
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.
This week's verse is a continuation from last week (Isaiah 53:4-5) which taught us about Christ, our Suffering Servant.
1) "All We..."
Note the pervasiveness of the beginning statement: "All we...". From the devoted religious person who has kept what they perceive to be God's standards to the one who is on Death Row precisely for not keeping those standards. What have we all done? Gone astray (Romans 3:10). From whom? From God, our greatest Good. To what? You can fill-in-the-blank on this one. The point is that we've all wandered. Some go astray by running to "religious" activities they think will somehow please or appease God. Others run to worldly pleasures (money, fame, materialism, power, etc.) thinking they will somehow fulfill them. Regardless of where we turn, if it's not to God, it's a dead end. A funeral will meet us at the end of that road that seems so full of life initially.
2) "...Like Sheep"
In some cases in Scripture, being compared to a sheep is a good thing. Not in this one. In this case, it's referring to our stupidity and wandering ways. Not a compliment at all, but a critique: we've all sheepishly left, and have acted independently like there is no shepherd, unaccountable and proud. Just in case there was a question about if this included "all" people, Isaiah repeats right after, "we have turned - every one - to his own way." All & every one. Like sheep running from their shepherd, humanity has turned away from its Creator. What a tragedy!
3) The Miraculous Turning
And what is God's response to our wandering? He laid our iniquity on the Suffering Servant, His very own Son who lived a perfect life of obedience and never wandered from the Father. While He could put us on trial and cast us into the deepest dungeon, He didn't. While He could have abandoned us in foreign pastures that would ultimately be our graveyards, He didn't. He sent His Son to die for us so that He could bring us back to His fold. Follow the progression:
We turn away.
God turns to His Son and lays our iniquity on Him.
God turns to us in love.
Apart from Christ God could have only turned toward us in judgement. He was too holy, too righteous, too perfect. But to those found in His Son, He turns to in love.
4) "A New Breed of Sheep"
The verse ends the same way it began: with the word "all". The first "all" was the wandering, sinful "all". By the end of the verse, because of Jesus' death and taking our iniquity on Himself for us, the sinful "all" become the forgiven "all". Who are these "all"? Those who turn in faith to Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and put their trust in Him. The stupid wandering shepherd-less sheep now become the beloved blood-bought shepherded sheep. What a miracle!
This week's fine music is brought to you by Jonn Gorham & tasty artwork by Amy Fuller (http://www.flint.io/). You may need to roll your windows down and turn this one up whilst listening to it.