“Jesus Heals Us” (Isaiah 53: 3 – 4, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Once flogged as ordered by Pilate, Jesus’ “form does not resemble a human being.” “His appearance is so disfigured that He does not look like a man.” (Isaiah 52: 14)

Jesus “does not have an impressive form or majesty that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him.” (Isaiah 53: 2) Instead, Jesus “is despised and rejected by men.” He becomes “a man of suffering who knows what sickness is.” People turn away from Him, and do not value Him.

Nevertheless, Jesus “bears our sicknesses, and He carries our pains.” And, while He is “pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities,” we think He is “stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53: 4, 5, 4) He is punished by God “for the iniquity of us all” because “we all go astray like sheep; we all turn to our own way.” (Isaiah 53: 6)

Jesus heals us “by His wounds.” (Isaiah 53: 5)

“Not To Deal With Sin A Second Time” (Hebrews 9: 22, ESV) by Carley Evans

“Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.”

Under the first covenant, God forgives sins through the shedding of the blood of bulls, goats, lambs. Everything “used in worship” is “sprinkled with the blood” of these animals. Even this first covenant “is inaugurated” with blood. This sacrificial animal blood is able to “sanctify for the purification of the flesh,” according to the author of Hebrews.

Since the blood of animals is able to accomplish such a feat, albeit temporarily; then “how much more is the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offers Himself without blemish to God, able to purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” (Hebrews 9: 13, 14)

Christ “enters…heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor is it to offer Himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then He would have to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 9: 24 – 26)

Christ sacrifice is once for all — a done deal — the new covenant which God makes with Abraham and his descendants.

“Christ is to appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.” (Hebrews 9: 28)

“Love Made Manifest” (1 John 4: 9, ESV) by Carley Evans

How does God show His love of us? He sends His only Son to earth as a baby, allows two flawed humans to raise Him, sends Him into the wilderness to contend with our adversary, asks Him to travel — preaching and healing — for three years; then commands Him to sacrifice Himself to a terrible, slow death and to the darkness of separation from His own glory.

“In this the love of God is made manifest among us, that God sends His only Son into the world, so that we may live through Him.” (1 John 4: 9)

We live through Jesus. Make no mistake, we do not live through our own power. Our lives are powerful only through the finished work of Jesus the Christ.