Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Are you a pretty good person? If we avoid the overly theological answers which say we are sinful through and through or that we have been made perfectly holy in Christ, most of us would say, and others would agree with us, that we are pretty good people. We can certainly find someone who is a much worse example of general goodness and humanity.
Our reading in Isaiah throws some different perspective on this situation. Let's turn on the lights and look carefully. I'm a pretty decent person, but not perfect. When God says he is going to arrange for someone else to take care of my sin, it sounds like a fine idea. After all, taking care of sin is pretty rough business.
Isaiah 52:14 says he is marred.
Isaiah 53:3 says he is like someone suffering so much we don't know what to do, so we hide.
Isaiah 53:5 says he is wounded, crushed, whipped.
Isaiah 53:7 says he is oppressed, afflicted, and led to slaughter.
How did Jesus deserve all this? He didn't. We pretty good people did. This is the kind of loving offer God makes in the Gospel. Believe that in Christ your sins can be taken away. They are. He suffered the penalty for sin in your place. God now looks on you as his holy child.
Now we can return to the highly theological answers. We have sin, enough to warrant our destruction. We are made perfectly holy by God in Christ. That's not pretty good. It's sublime.
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