This week’s bottle of Scripture Sauce is half heat, half sweet. Yesterday, we touched on the life cycle of sin and its consequence. We are going to explore the good news in response to sin for the remainder of the week.
God's Handling of Sin
Here are some common arguments against the responsibility of sin…
- It’s all relative, so who’s to say what’s right or wrong?
- How is it fair for us to be condemned for some bad choices?
- What if I don’t believe in the God of the Bible? Am I still responsible for its beliefs?
Those questions are fair questions. They get to the heart of the matter by addressing fairness, justice, and balance.
So, let’s crack open our bottle of sauce and see God’s reply to whether or not His judgment on sin is fair.
Today’s dab comes from the book of Isaiah from a section nicknamed “The Book of Consolation.” In this section, the writer is prophesying about the healing and restoration of Israel and all of humanity.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But 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.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV)
Is the Good News Fair?
The first sentence in this chapter of Isaiah includes the word “news” or “report.” It’s similar to the word for “gospel” (or good news) in the New Testament.
But, this news in Isaiah doesn’t sound good or pleasant…
- An innocent person is bruised and beaten for the sins of others.
- He is punished and forsaken.
- And God “has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
"how can God’s righteous Servant bear the sins of all people?"
The imagery reminds me of the “scapegoat” ritual from Leviticus, where the high priest would lay the sins of the people upon a goat…
He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness.
Leviticus 16:21-22 (NIV)
How is all of this fair? How can an innocent goat take the place of the Israelites’ sins? And how can God’s righteous Servant bear the sins of all people?
To be honest, it’s not fair in the normal sense — Jesus committed no sin, yet He died a sinner’s death on our behalf.
But it’s still God’s solution to sin. It’s still just.
Tomorrow, we are going to explore why God is just and good in handling sin this unexpected way.
🔥 Bonus Sauce!
Here’s a really cool video about the “Great Isaiah Scroll,” an intact copy of all 66 chapters of Isaiah.
You can also browse the entire Great Isaiah Scroll HERE. You can skip ahead to chapter 53 and see the section we read today.
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