He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
At the heart of the gospel — at the heart of what happened on the cross to Jesus Christ — is substitution. It is Jesus taking the place, and therefore the punishment, of sinners who deserved God’s wrath. At the cross, Jesus got what we deserved. Isaiah 53:5 gives us this clear insight into Jesus’ death.
Jesus was, at the cross, enduring what you deserved, in your place.
What a dreadful catalog of misery-words we find in Isaiah 53: despised, rejected, sorrowful, grieving, stricken, smitten, afflicted, crushed, chastened, wounded, oppressed, slaughtered, stripped, imprisoned, judged, cut off, travailing, poured out to death. Think on that, Christian believer! Jesus was, at the cross, enduring what you deserved, in your place.
But Jesus did not just bare this grief for us — he successfully bore it, in our place, so that we are therefore healed through his substitutionary suffering: “with his wounds we are healed.” We are healed because Jesus was slain.
May the sorrow of the cross, and the joy of your redemption, lead you to a heart full of praise to your Savior every day.