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Pierced for Our Transgressions

Alexis Asamoah


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But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

- Isaiah 53:5 NIV


On his way to the cross, Jesus was whipped and beaten by governor Pilate’s soldiers. They stripped Him of his clothes, made a crown of thorns and placed it on His head, spit on Him, and struck Him on the head. He suffered from wounds and was already bleeding before being nailed by the hands and feet to the cross.


Just as Jesus was a suffering servant, we also go through suffering and are called by God to pick up our own crosses daily and follow Him.


The weight of the cross was probably heavy, as Jesus walked to Golgotha with a bleeding back, thorns pressed into His scalp, and a mouth dry with thirst. When we go through suffering--whether it is mental health struggles, the death of a loved one, heartbreak over a breakup, not getting the job or promotion or grade we were hoping for - it is also painful, though we may not experience a physical beating. However, God has a purpose for our suffering and it is never meant to be in vain or without us learning more about His character and will.


Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer […] - Isaiah 53:10 (NIV)


In moments of suffering, it is hard to believe that something good could come out of our situation because we can’t see the end. We cry to God, asking Him to deliver us from our circumstances because it hurts. Even Jesus knew that going to the cross would be painful, as He sweat drops of blood while praying (Luke 22:44). He even told the Father He didn’t want to go through with it, but ultimately surrendered to God’s will.


Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” - Matthew 26:39


One of the crosses I personally carry is my mental struggle with anxiety. A mind of anxiety will hyperfocus on details, interactions, or mistakes and bring worried thoughts that go on and on. The hardest part about having anxiety is surrender. I did not choose to have this condition, but it was God’s will that He chose me to have it and still glorify Him in the struggle. I don’t think anyone would ever willingly choose to suffer, but it is God’s will that we must, in order to know Him more.


Jesus’ suffering was necessary so that we could live in the freedom that came from His sacrifice on the cross. His suffering also means that we don’t have to feel alone because our Savior empathizes with us. Some Christians around the world may experience persecution in the form of being beaten, but there is hope in knowing that their suffering is shared by Jesus and that it is temporary. We will all experience suffering on earth, but we can trust that because Jesus suffered before us, picking up our crosses will lead to greater faith and eternity in Heaven with God.


Prayer

Jesus, thank You for giving me the example of how hard it is to suffer, but that God was with you and had a plan despite the pain. Help me to keep seeking God and who He is in the midst of my suffering. I want to believe that His character is always the same, even when my emotions are all over the place. Help me to trust that my suffering is worth it, just as Your suffering on the cross was worth it. I want greater faith and trust in You, Amen.


Reflection

1. What kinds of suffering are you experiencing right now?

2. How has God shown you His character and faithfulness through your suffering?

3. How does Jesus’ example show you that you can hold on to hope?


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