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.
His Punishment, Our Peace
You are on trial. You would like to think that it is just a misunderstanding, a mistake. They have the wrong person, but you know that’s not the case. You have heard the charges, and it is impossible to deny even one of them.
You’ve been greedy. You’ve been selfish. You’ve lied. You’ve hurt others with your words and hated them in your thoughts. You’ve been guilty of lust and discontentment. You’ve shown you don’t trust God or love him more than anything else. And you can say, “Well, nobody’s perfect,” but that’s no defense. The law—God’s law—demands perfect, loving obedience in everything we think, say, and do.
As the evidence is brought forward, you slide down further and further in your seat. You knew the facts were against you, but you tried to forget just how much evidence there was that you were a lawbreaker.
The case is over. As the judge prepares to read the verdict, you see his son walk into the courtroom. He’s the one against whom you committed every one of those crimes. He speaks a few words to his father, and you are sure you are a goner.
“The facts in the case are clear,” the judge says. “No crime can go unpunished. I, therefore, sentence my son to be cursed and crushed and killed on a cross. He will endure no less than the torment of hell. Justice demands that he suffer mortal wounds for the crimes that have been committed. The defendant is free to go.”
That is what this day that we call Good Friday is all about. Jesus, the perfect Son of God, was punished in your place. The sentence for your sins was inflicted on him. The disobedience that made you an enemy of God has been erased from your record forever!
Because of Jesus, you have peace with God. Perfect, permanent peace paid for by the punishment of God’s own Son. Because of Jesus, you are free from guilt and even death. What wondrous love! What amazing grace!
Jesus, my Savior, you gave your life, your all, for me. What a marvelous gift! Amen.