Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Why didn’t the people in Jesus’ day understand? Why didn’t they get that it was all about their sin and how it separated them from God? Why couldn’t they see how displeased He was with their iniquity over so many generations? They knew all the stories. Adam sinned in the beginning. Judgment came in Noah’s time because of sin. God gave Moses the law because of sin. The sacrifices were instituted for their sins. The prophets foretold the judgments upon the nations for their sinfulness. Captivity and oppression came upon them due to their rebellion, disobedience, and sinfulness.
Jesus came to deliver them from that thing in all of us that we might not really want to face. It’s because of sin—that first sin in Eden, the nature of it inside us all, our gleeful embracing of it in our wicked hearts, our need for atonement and redemption, our need for someone to conquer it, our need for forgiveness of it. It’s because we can’t be righteous no matter how hard we try. It’s because nothing else would be good enough or powerful enough to take sin from us.
Why don’t people today understand? It’s not about following a bunch of rules. It’s not about not being able to do whatever we want. It’s not about “my way is better than yours.” It’s not about restrictions. It’s not about religion. It’s still about the same thing it’s always been about. We are sinners. We need a Savior. God loves us so much that He gave us one. He gave us Jesus. The only thing He wants to take away from us is our sin. The only thing He wants to deny us is hell and eternal separation from Himself. He wants to give us life, new life, and He wants to give us a part of Himself.
The whole of human history worked together for that one moment to come, for Jesus to be born, live a sinless life, and die on the cross for our sins. The whole Old Testament anticipated it. The whole of creation needed it so desperately. And now all we need to do is believe on Him, accept Him, and solve that sin problem. And then that changes us, because with sin out of the way, we can experience God as we were meant to experience Him, and our hearts want different things, and our lives take on new purposes and meaning. And then that changes everything else.