Larry Kirkpatrick

A Positive Place on the Web for the Third Angel's Message

Sinbearer 3

We are looking together at Isaiah 52:13 through 53:12. And today, Isaiah 53:4-6:

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Bearing and Carrying our Griefs and Sorrows

The obvious question that arises here is, how did Jesus bear our griefs and carry our sorrows? Is He represented as bearing our griefs and sorrows while in actuality He did not, or, did He truly, experientially carry them?

Some say Jesus bore our sins only in terms of imaginative participation; in other words, mystically or as a necessity in a forensic legal scheme. In effect, Jesus is our Savior on paper in a way that would satisfy angelic jurisprudence. That is, Jesus bears our sins in a theatrical or staged or performed, simulated sense.

Look again at our text: "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." That absolutely affirms Jesus carried our griefs and sorrows. There are New Testament passages which show how Bible authors interpreted it.

First there is Matthew 8:14-17.

Now when Jesus had come into Peter's house, He saw his wife's mother laying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them. When evening had come, they brought Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.

Here we see two phenomenon: (1) physical sickness, and (2) demon possession. There are two different solutions as well: those possessed have demons cast out of them, and those who are ill have their sicknesses healed. And both phenomenon are connected to the prophecy in Isaiah 53 of Jesus bearing and carrying our infirmities and sicknesses.

It seems as though there is something going on here like a transference. Virtue from God is going out through Jesus into the sick person and they are being healed. Whatever happens, here is what we know: the demons are cast out of the possessed, and those with sicknesses are healed. So in some way He has authority to cast demons out, and power to heal diseases. And this power is connected by the Bible writers to Messiah carrying our griefs and sorrows in Isaiah 53.

Another New Testament passage is 1 Peter 2:23-25:

Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Hm who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

If you read the section just before this, Peter commends those who suffer for doing good. He even says that is commendable with God. If you endure wrongful suffering patiently, that is praised.

When Jesus suffered He suffered for us (vs. 21). He had done no wrong. But He was punished for us. He had done no wrong but He bore our sins. Peter says Jesus bore our sins in His own body. Yes, He was beaten and tortured and crucified at the cross. But there is more.

When, at the beginning of His ministry Jesus was cast into the wilderness to fast for forty days and nights and be tempted by Satan at the end of that period in a wasted and emaciated condition, our sins and griefs were upon Him even then. Perhaps you recall reading this from The Desire of Ages, 116-117:

Ever since Adam's sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God; the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ; but now that Jesus had come 'in the likeness of sinful flesh' (Romans 8:3), the Father Himself spoke. He had before communicated with humanity through Christ; now He communicated with humanity in Christ. . . . The enticements which Christ resisted were those that we find it so difficult to withstand. . . With the terrible weight of the sins of the world upon Him, Christ withstood the test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon that love of display that leads to presumption. . . In our humanity Christ was to redeem Adam's failure. But when Adam was assailed by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon Him. He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full vigor of mind and body. . . It was not thus with Jesus when He entered the wilderness to cope with Satan. For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation.

I want to point out here when this was. Did you hear it? "When Jesus entered the wilderness to cope with Satan." So, yes, Jesus bore our sins and carried our griefs, not only into the garden of Gethsemene, but into the wilderness for those forty harrowing days and the terrible tests at the end.

So when Peter quotes Isaiah here, "by whose stripes you were healed," he is considering not only the suffering on the cross, but that Jesus all His life was subject to the weaknesses and infirmities of a damaged kind of humanity, what Paul calls the "likeness of sinful flesh."

Another New Testament passage is Hebrews 9:28 which says that Jesus bore our sins. And this same author writes in his book at 2:18 that Jesus suffered beign tempted and tested, and in 4:15 that in Jesus "We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin."

So we need to read our passage as more than Jesus suffering on the cross. All the time He was living in, being human like we are, He was bearing our sins and carrying our griefs and sorrows.

We Esteemed Him Struck by God

When our passage in Isaiah 53 continues by saying that we considered Jesus smitten and afflicted of God, that is, literally, having been struck, hit, punished, by God, it is saying that God punishes sin. He punishes sin hard. He punishes sin completely. Death is the end result of sin. There are two pieces of that too. There is the physical death which all humans, if we live long enough, experience. And, there is the moral death, the entire separation death, where God's full wrath against sin is coming down, the full brightness of His infinite purity. Jesus bore our sins in His body. He didn't add to them; He didn't choose rebellion. But we chose rebellion and Jesus took our place and took the punishment, the hitting, the striking, the inevitable conflict between good and evil produces between sin and righteousness.

On the cross, Jesus cried out, "My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 7:46). All the weight of the sin of the world was upon Him. He felt completely blocked out. And He was. The sins of the world were upon Jesus. He was offered on the cross for our sins. He felt totally crushed by the sense of the absence of the Father's presence.

The prophet Zechariah prophesied also of this terrible moment in the experience of Jesus. Zechariah 13:7:

Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who is My Companion, says the Lord of hosts. Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. . .

There is more to Zechariah's prophecy, but what we see is the punishment of the Lord's Companion. The punishment of Jesus only comes because He bears our sins for us. God must punish sin. The wages of sin is death. In God's plan to legitimately save us, the sins must be punished and the heart transformed. We ust be born again, reborn from above. Only transformation will do.

Jesus' death on the cross not only absorbs our punishment for sin for us, but it clears the way for resurrection with Jesus. Jesus was innocent. Yet He bore our punishment. Jesus never sinned. Isaiah says with Jesus' punishment, with His stripes, that we are healed. There is a connection between the believer and Jesus. We see it in baptism. When we are baptized we are considered to be dead to sin but alive to God (Romans 6:5):

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection." Jesus died bearing our guilt. But He rose innocent, holy, and pure. According to romans six, this is the way we should engage in living every day that we belong to Jesus.

Jesus Took All our Iniquities

Finally, Isaiah 53 points to our lostness. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." All sin was laid on Jesus. All of it. All people turn to self service. All choose rebellion toward God's service, at some point. We all do it when we are young, when we are like sheep going astray, unclear about our moral position and our values, yet in degree morally accountable.

Jesus took our sins with a purpose. He endured all that He endured for a purpose. He has a goal. He took our iniquities to remove them, to enable them to be carried away. His plan is to cleanse the camp from all sin. It is urgent and necessary.

Right here it is important to recognize key pieces of the Christian worldview. Whereas today there seems to be an urgent desire to spark some kind of race war, Christianity is a very leveling religion. All men, not some, are made in God's image. All people choose to sin. All people become guilty before God as rebels. Jesus comes and bears all our iniquities. All, everyone's. He dies on the cross for all men, not all males or all females or all this color or that, but for all humans. Salvation is available for all humans. John 3:16 and 17 says it all:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

So, "The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Christianity recognizes the basic human situation, the basic lostness and hopelessness of all men. On our own, apart from God, we are all of us inevitably only suited for destruction. Without God's intervention we would all become entirely committed to selfishness. We would all become like Satan and the other fallen angels.

But God sent His Son. They called Him Jesus. He lived and died. He came to love, heal, and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Christianity gives hope to every man. This was God's design. The decline of Christianity as too many churches have been absorbed and neutralized by the culture has been devastating for peace on earth. We are descending into violence and hate. But you and I have the answer. That answer is Jesus who took our iniquities for us, and offers to exchange our sins for His righteousness.

And the fact that He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows from His birth to the tomb, gives us hope. Not only hope for a legal solution, where He bears our punishment and we are counted innocent, but also in that He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows every day of His life. He took our humanity and defeated sin in it, even as He carried that sin to the cross for punishment, for disposal.

Today, Jesus is in heaven. Our Father has accepted His sacrifice for us. But still Jesus retains His humanity. We are connected with Him. All our sufferings and griefs do not go unnoticed. He experiences them. Hear these two sentences from The Desire of Ages, p. 823:

Christ feels the woes of every sufferer. When evil spirits rend a human frame, Christ feels the curse. When fever is burning up the life current, He feels the agony.

When you have the flu, when you feel the dental drill, when you have a heart attack, when you have cancer, Jesus feels it. You are not alone. He feels the suffering of every human on earth because in heaven's plan He was determined to be the Savior of every person willing to be saved.


Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Jesus died for us with a purpose; He wants to give us life. He wants to heal. The cross is the single most pivotal event for all planet earth, all the world, every man, woman, son, and daughter.

Have you given yourself to Him? Does Jesus have your heart?

As we move to the last two presentations in this series, we'll better understand the big issues, the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, because you will see, that is where the prophet Isaiah is going.


Muskegon MI SDA church 2020-09-05