A boy runs into the family living room, excited about ‘flying’ his toy plane. In his preoccupation, he did not notice his mother’s Ming vase and knocks it over. With a crash, it shatters. The boy is stunned. His older brother, who was studying in his room, runs down to see what happened. After checking to see that his younger brother was not hurt, he took the broom and pan and started to clean up the mess. Just then, their parents walked through the door…

We all know what will happen next. It has almost become a clich├ęd scene. The idea of older brother taking the fall for the younger brother has become the plot for many an action movie. But you know what? Whether we realize it or not, it stems from the deep seated knowledge that this has already happened for us.

“All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

Take your time to read this one verse, and see if it will not blow your mind. We have gone astray. We have gone our own way. Yet our Father, without flinching almost, laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. It was not a case of mistaken identity, like the case of the story mentioned earlier. Our Father knows we have sinned, how we have sinned, when we have sinned, why we have sinned. And He knows that His Son, His only Son, the Son whom He loves, who was with Him from the beginning, and who is now seated at His right hand, He knows that His Son is faultless. Yet, He laid on Him, the iniquity of us all.

But as if this was not enough, The Amplified emphasizes the action even further.

“All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 [AMPC] defines the phrase ‘light upon’ as to fall, as a stroke, weapon, vengeance, or choice, on a place or person. Indeed, when we sin, God is displeased. He hates sin. And He must have hated the moment Adam wanted to know what evil was and ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because that was when evil was introduced into the world.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” Romans 5:12

So when God encounters sin, the perfectly righteous God must punish sin, and punish it with a vengeance, laying it on like taking a sword through an enemy, hence the phrase ‘light upon’. We can easily understand that.

But instead of laying it on us, the rightful parties, He laid them all on Jesus; and not just the iniquity, the guilt as well. It is not as if we got a fine and Jesus paid it off for us and therefore we owe Jesus a debt of gratitude. Or Jesus paid for the vase we broke and now, every time we see Jesus, we feel bad, we are ashamed; He makes us feel guilty about the payment He made for us. No. The guilt, that was the result of the iniquity, was also nailed on Jesus. And not just nailed, nailed with a vengeance, God’s vengeance.

But why?

Honestly, I do not know. And probably none of us will ever know until He returns for us and makes all things plain. But I do know this.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

Love. That is the reason why. But we use this word too, do we not? We love many things. And we want many people to love us. But our understanding of love does not even come close to what our Father and Jesus did for us, let alone our ability to love.

You can almost imagine the scene. There Jesus is, seated at the right hand of the Father, looking at how we are messing up our lives, and perhaps flinching every time He sees us sin, because, big or small, sin is sin and sin needs to be punished. At the same time, Jesus feels the anger that the Father is feeling toward our sin, yet He knows that in the end, all that anger will fall on Him. Can you image being in a situation like that? And think for how many millennia’s worth of sin Jesus must pay? Yet this was how He responded.

“He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

Not a word. The Amplified calls Him submissive.

“He was oppressed, [yet when] He was afflicted, He was submissive and opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 [AMPC]

It was almost as if He gave up His right to speak. For make no mistake, Jesus was not forced into this at gunpoint. Not at all, for He says,

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10:17-18

No, it was Jesus’ choice, as much as it was the Father. Why? John 3:16.

And because you now truly understand how great a benefactor you have in Jesus, and how much He does not hold against you that debt you owe Him for suffering God’s wrath on your behalf, you could never knowingly, willfully and deliberately sin, CHOOSING to live a life of sin, because you know what a hefty price Jesus paid on your behalf.

Beloved, you are the reason why the prophet Isaiah says,

“Out of that terrible travail of soul,
he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
will make many “righteous ones,”
as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
he took up the cause of all the black sheep.” Isaiah 53:11-12 [MSG]

Every time Jesus and our Father look at you, you who believe in Him, They smile and are glad they did it. You who believe in Jesus can count yourself one amongst the number of righteous ones because Jesus carried the burden of your sins and took upon His own shoulders your sin. And now, you are no longer a black sheep, but one washed whiter than snow by the redeeming and cleansing blood of Jesus for He said,

“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28

Beloved, Jesus is our great Shepherd, our loving Shepherd, for He, as promised, lay down His life for His sheep.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

So let us be like good sheep and follow our great Shepherd for when we do,

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.” Psalm 23:6

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