“On His Shoulders, Our Guilt” ( Isaias 53:5-6, KNOX ) by Carley Evans


Who does this to Jesus? Is it the Romans? Is it Herod? Is it Pilate? Is it the Jews? (we hear this one, don’t we?) Is it me? Or you? Is it Satan? Is it God the Father?

“and all the while it was for our sins he was wounded, it was guilt of ours crushed him down; on him the punishment fell that brought us peace, by his bruises we were healed. Strayed sheep all of us, each following his own path; and God laid on his shoulders our guilt, the guilt of us all.”

Our sins put Jesus on the cross; that’s certain. But God the Father puts the guilt of our sins on His Son. Otherwise, we carry our guilt to the grave and beyond. Jesus’ bruises – the punishment He bears – free us from the same. Rather than anxiety, we gain peace.

Who does this? God the Father.

Do you suppose the Great Physician then decides to let us fall back into guilt? Wallow around it in like pigs? Shame on us if we even attempt to return to our squalor. For we are washed in His Son’s very blood.

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“Left Out Of All Human Reckoning” ( Isaias 53:3-4, KNOX ) by Carley Evans


Jesus receives a lot of human attention while He heals in valleys and preaches from hilltops; but when He is carried away and nailed to the cross, only a few remain at His feet – most of these are women and of little account themselves.

“Nay, here is one despised, left out of all human reckoning; bowed with misery, and no stranger to weakness; how should we recognize that face? How should we take any account of him, a man so despised? Our weakness, and it was he who carried the weight of it, our miseries, and it was he who bore them. A leper, so we thought of him, a man God had smitten and brought low;”

At this point, Jesus is completely despised and feared by most. He has disappointed many who expected Him to take over the world, literally. Instead, He hangs on a cross and dies a criminal’s death – a death of immense cruelty.

He must be “a leper;” “a man God has smitten and brought low.” He must be of no account, after all. Oh, too bad. How awful. I guess I was a fool to follow him. I’ve got to find a good place to hide. I don’t want to wind up hanging next to him!

“Raised Up From” ( Isaiah 55:8-9, WYC ) by Carley Evans


In case you wonder why we don’t understand God, He tells us the reason. He says as far as the heaven is from the earth is similar to how far above us are His ways and His thoughts. God is beyond us, above us, raised up from us.

For why my thoughts be not your thoughts, and my ways be not your ways, saith the Lord. For as (the) heavens be raised (up) from (the) earth, so my ways be raised (up) from your ways, and my thoughts from your thoughts. 

Makes understanding the reason behind Christ’s entrance into the world a bit easier, however. If God is so far removed from us, then His coming as an infant – actually on the earth – makes perfect sense. How else are we to grasp who He really is? So much better is Jesus than Moses. So much better is the new covenant than the old – hearts not of stone, but of flesh and blood where God’s love is written directly by His Holy Spirit. 

That Jesus comes to earth is because God is raised up from us. Jesus descended to us so that we might live again.

“It Is Finished” ( John 19: 30, KJV ) by Carley Evans


William Hole's interpretation of the Beloved D...
William Hole's interpretation of the Beloved Disciple joining Peter in the tomb. From book: The Life of Jesus of Nazareth. Eighty Pictures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“When Jesus, therefore, receives the vinegar, He says, ‘It is finished;’ and He bows His head, and gives up the spirit.”

Jesus dies on the cross, accomplishing payment for the sins of the world. He is buried, visiting hell to remind our adversary he has no power over us.

“Peter, therefore, goes forth, and that other disciple, and comes to the sepulcher. So they run together; and the other disciple does outrun Peter, and comes first to the sepulcher. And he, stooping down and looking in, sees the linen clothes lying; yet goes he not in. Then comes Simon Peter following him, and goes into the sepulcher, and sees the linen clothes lying there, and the cloth, that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then goes in also that other disciple, who came first to the sepulcher, and he sees, and believes. For as yet they know not the scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” (John 20:3-9, KJV)

He is risen! to achieve glory for Himself and for His children, the sons of God.

 

“All Were Dead” ( 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, KJV ) by Carley Evans


Jesus giving the Farewell discourse to his ele...
Maesta by Duccio, 1308-1311. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus takes the cup, blesses it, gives it to His disciples, tells them to drink of His blood in remembrance of Him. He takes the bread, blesses it, breaks it, shares it with His disciples, tells them to eat of His body in remembrance of Him. The last supper with His followers is here.

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

As we remember Him, His love “constrains us” — we are reminded that “if one died for all, then were all dead.” We remember He “dies for all, that [we] which live should not henceforth live unto [ourselves], but unto Him.”

What makes us live for Him? His love, and the power of His resurrection from the dead. As we die with Him in weakness, so we rise with Him in power. He dies for us. We live for Him.

“In Him Wickedness” ( Isaiah 53: 6, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...
Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane), oil painting by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Heinrich Hofmann). The original is at the Riverside Church (Riverside Church, New York City). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do we forget Jesus becomes sin (wickedness) on the tree? All our evil is put in Him by God so that “He suffers what should be our chastising, or our punishment.” An extraordinary event — God becoming sin. Our minds protest. How does the Holy One become unholy? Does He? Or is Jesus only dressed in sin? Is sin only “put on Him” as a garment, or is sin “put in Him?”

Isaiah, the great prophet from the Old Covenant, writes:

“5 Forsooth he was wounded for our wickednesses, he was defouled for our great trespasses; the learning of our peace was on him, and we be made whole by his wanness. (And he was wounded for our wickednesses, he was defiled for our great trespasses; he suffered what should have been our chastising, or our punishment, and we be healed, or made whole, by his scourgings.)

6 All we erred as sheep, each man bowed into his own way, and the Lord putted in him the wickedness of us all. (We have all wandered astray like sheep, each one turned to his own way, but the Lord put on him all of our wickednesses.)”

Jesus is defiled, defouled, punished, wounded, scourged. God the Father treats Jesus as sin. As a result, we — who err and wander astray, each to our own way — are made whole, healed, restored to God’s graces.

“Listen!” (Matthew 20: 17 – 19, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Jesus knows beforehand He is to suffer in Jerusalem, and He privately warns His twelve disciples. He takes them aside, and says emphatically, “Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem.” Jesus is telling them to be prepared, to get ready for an event that alters His human life, their lives, and the lives of the rest of the world.

He says, “Get ready for the horrific events that are coming My way.”

Jesus also knows He is to be resurrected in Jerusalem; and is saying: “Get ready for the wonderful moment that is coming your way.”

After His crucifixion, His disciples are hiding, terrified having forgotten Jesus’ word, “Listen!” They are not ready, but the women — Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and others with them — are prepared before the Sabbath to bring spices and perfume to the body of their Lord, Jesus who is kindly taken from the Cross and entombed by Joseph, one of the Sanhedrin. They are not ready for His resurrection, but are dealing with an immediate need of His body.

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, [the women who came with Jesus from Galilee] come to the tomb, bringing the spices they have prepared. They find the stone rolled away from the tomb. They go in but do not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they are perplexed about this, suddenly two men stand by them in dazzling clothes. So the women are terrified and bow down to the ground. ‘Why are you looking for the living among the dead?’ ask the men. ‘He is not here, but He is resurrected!’ ” (Luke 23: 56, 24: 1 – 6)

All are devastated, doubting, and then amazed at the events Jesus predicts for them before they go up to Jerusalem. Not one is fully prepared.

Jesus says to us, “Listen!”