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"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." Isaiah 53.5


Our current preaching series in Isaiah takes us to the most resonant passage in world literature. Written 700 years before the event, the prophet's description of the Lord's Anointed in chapter 53 of the biblical book which bears his name, so clearly points to Jesus. At its heart is the notion of an unpayable debt: that which is being racked up by the sinfulness of human beings. Who would deny it, who could settle it?


God's ingenious solution, motivated by love, is to enter creation in the person of his "son", Jesus, to navigate a perfect life - ie by facing all the trials and temptations common to humanity, yet without any of the advantages of his divinity (save his ability to perform miracles on behalf of others). Then to take that perfect life and offer it in restitution for the sinful lives of his fellow creatures, thereby clearing our slates.


Nobody else has the moral authority and it came at a terrible price. Setting aside the physical and spiritual agony of it all, consider the risk... What if Jesus had fallen short? What it the sacrifice had been considered insufficient? In his divinity God would have got away with it but his mission would have failed and we should all be doomed.


Instead, the resurrection proves that Jesus prevailed, the sacrifice of that perfect life was considered acceptable and sufficient and so, in his rising, Jesus opens the gates of heave to all who will recognise that he died for their sake and then accept the forgiveness that brings and, with it, the inheritance of glory in the new creation, reigning as kings and queens alongside our Saviour and Lord Jesus, when he returns...

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