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History Repeated For Our Comfort

Historians have little or no problem with the fact that a man named Jesus of Nazareth was crucified by the Romans in Jerusalem sometime around 30 A.D. History books will tell you that Jesus was stricken, smitten, afflicted, wounded, bruised, and chastised. Even the Jewish historian Josephus records this fact and the events that surrounded the death.

But you will not find the reason for this death repeated in secular history books. In fact, we can only understand fully the fact of Jesus’ death if we look in THE definitive History Book on the subject of Christ’s death–the Bible! The Bible is (as has been said by many before) His-Story–the story of the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ.

History also tells us much about ourselves. From secular historians we can observe that man has never treated his fellow man very well. I’m sure that you could ask people who know you and they would be happy to supply you with a history of your own shortcomings. History agrees with what the Bible tells us: man is sinful. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to his own way . . . ” (Is. 53:6).

And so the Scriptures have, after a manner of speaking, also been fulfilled in us. That is, the LORD judges us in His Word to be sinful and rebellious. And mankind has without fail–in every single one of us–proven God’s Word true. Daily we go astray. Daily we sin.

But the fact remains that, as Scripture states: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom. 5:12). It is on account of this grace of God that, instead of punishing man for sin, God our Father laid on His Son Jesus “the iniquity of us all.” Thus our sins were taken away, as it is written: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:10).

The Scriptures Fulfilled!

This point bears stating again: we cannot consider Jesus’ death without considering why He died and what the results of that death were.

Notice the words of the prophet: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows . . . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed . . . the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” There God revealed hundreds of years before the fact that His Son would be punished in our place and would bear our sins.

And the Scriptures have been fulfilled. Christ was punished. During Lent, how many times do we hear from Scripture that such-and-such was done “that the Scriptures might be fulfilled” or “for it is written…”? Christ Jesus came into the world and suffered and died because the LORD had promised that He would send the Savior from sin.

But how do we know that Jesus was this Promised One–for Jesus was not the only one who ever suffered or even the only one who ever died on a cross? How do we know that He was bruised for our iniquities? How do we know that there is healing in His suffering or peace for us in His punishment? How do we know that the forgiveness of our sins is a fact through Christ’s suffering and death?

We know because God has said so in His Word. Just as we look ahead of the prophecy recorded by Isaiah to find Jesus, so we look to the Word to find Jesus revealed as the very Savior from sin.

For your comfort, here are the facts surrounding Christ’s death: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the Word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19).

It was prophesied that the Savior would bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. And so He did, as it is written: “(Jesus) bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).

It was prophesied that “the LORD (would lay) on Him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:6). And so He did, as it is written: ” . . . so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28).

It was prophesied that in Christ we would be healed and have peace with God. And so we do, through faith in Jesus Christ, as it is written: “For He Himself is our peace . . . for through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:14,18-20).

The facts show that “the blood of Jesus Christ, (God’s) Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7). A person can deny the facts, but that only means they’re fooling themselves. Feelings don’t change the facts. And because it is God who revealed all of these things in His Word–the LORD God who knows all things, whose Word is fact–we know and believe that in Christ’s death we have life, for in His death we have the forgiveness of all our sins. In His death we have LIFE, for it is written: “(Christ) has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10).

As we shall see on Easter Sunday, the facts show also that this same Jesus Christ who was ” . . . delivered up for our offenses . . . was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25).

–Pastor Joel Fleischer