But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
Notice Isaiah’s four descriptions of the suffering of Jesus.
Jesus was pierced. Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced by nails, and His side was pierced by a spear. Crucifixion was a Roman practice, and it belonged to a time long after Isaiah. But Isaiah was writing under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and God revealed to him that the Messiah would be pierced. He was not pierced on account of His own transgressions—for He had none—He was pierced for our transgressions.
Jesus was crushed. The word crushed is used of grapes being trodden in a wine press. Jesus was beaten so severely that He was barely recognizable. Isaiah says, “his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind” (52:14). And Isaiah says that He was crushed for our iniquities.
Jesus was chastised. The word chastised means punished. Justice demands a penalty when evil is done, and the word chastised tells us what Jesus suffered was a penalty, or sentence, that was due to us, on account of our sins.
Jesus was wounded. He was wounded or scourged by the Romans. The Bible says that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). How is Jesus dying on the cross a demonstration of God’s love for us? A cure for cancer, or the end of world hunger, might seem like a more meaningful demonstration of God’s love. But dying on the cross is the ultimate demonstration of God’s love because it achieves something of infinite value for us—our sentence has been served, our bill has been paid, justice has been satisfied, and our case has been settled.
Has anyone else ever loved you like Jesus did on the cross?