He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Here is Isaiah laying out the truth of Christ hundreds of years before His birth. Here is the agony of Christ’s crucifixion, the rejection by His own people, the whole reason why He came, the working out, finally, of God’s plan of salvation. There is Jesus and His experience fully pictured and detailed. There He is being despised and rejected. There He is bearing griefs and sorrows. There are His wounds, His bloodshed, His pain and suffering, His humiliation. There, too, is His obedience and humility, His love and mercy. There is His sacrificial grace. There is His power. There is His goodness.
Isaiah’s future vision of the cross is identical to the historical view we have from our side of it. And we see all these aspects of Christ’s perfect work there. But we are there, too, in Isaiah’s vision. His message is not just for the Jews alive at the same time he was writing this, but for people of all time. In fact, his message is about all people, not just those alive during Jesus’ time on earth.
The collective “we” experiences this great moment of history. We hide our faces. We esteem Him not. We despise and reject. We are the ones who have gone astray. But Jesus did all that He did for “us.” It is our griefs and sorrows that He bears. It is for our transgressions and iniquities that He was wounded. It is our healing that comes through the suffering He endured. It is our sin that is upon Him, and so it is our salvation that is bought there at Calvary.
We are sinners, but Jesus is sinless. We deserve death, but Jesus offers us life instead. We deserve to suffer, to be wounded and afflicted, but Christ bore all of that in His body on our behalf. We should be eternally separated from God, but Jesus closes the gap with His atoning sacrifice. This plan was unveiled years before it actually happened, recorded in Scripture for eternity. This plan was devised in the heart of God long before man’s first sin. Our salvation was secured for us long before we were even born. And now we can know Christ, accept His gift, and be truly free from the sin that causes so much hurt and sorrow.