The Dress: Punished to Righteous

But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—

our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.

We thought he brought it on himself,

that God was punishing him for his own failures. Isaiah 53:4 (The Message)

Do you think you brought all this on yourself? Do you believe God is punishing you for your own failure?”

I’ve heard that before. I’ve LIVED that before. Isaiah 53:4 tells me Jesus took it all upon himself for you at the cross.

During a rough emotional season several years ago I remember sitting in my doctor’s office saying, “something is wrong with me. Something just feels wrong.” The wise man who was our primary care physician at that time, listened as I described the gripping fear I was experiencing. He patiently and quietly watched me as I described anxiety, unworthiness, exhaustion, and doubt. When I stopped talking and began to break into tears he said, “Jesus took all that for you, Aurelia, you don’t need to carry it anymore.” And when I looked up at him to see if my doctor was really truly speaking the Gospel to me in that exam room he asked me what I will now ask you, “Do you believe that?”

ALL the things wrong with us… Those words confirmed what I was feeling that day and still at times feel… Something IS wrong with us. In fact, “all the things” indicate that a LOT is wrong with us. Sin wrecks us. It’s an incurable sickness of the heart and mind. We bring it on ourselves and we suffer the result of sin in others’ lives. We are all in this together. The human body is stricken with a condition it cannot survive. God loved us so much, he sent His perfect son to be our cure.

He took ALL those things wrong with us and put them on Jesus and punished him for us. Next week we will look at the next verse that says, “HE took the punishment”.  What a gift we received!

So today you don’t have to carry “all those things”. Jesus took it all upon himself and gives you what He wears – righteousness. In Ephesians 6:14 we are encouraged by Paul to put on the “breastplate of righteousness”. In other words, break down that word righteousness to “rightness”… rightness with God or freedom from sin, guards our heart.

Fear has roots in knowing we deserve punishment. Today set your gaze upon the perfect love of Jesus and believe it, he has destroyed the root of all fear. Fear, as Mark Driscoll says, is faith in the enemy. And faith focuses it’s gaze.

Focus your gaze and your faith on Love, on Jesus. Keep your eyes on The Groom!

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