When my children were growing up, they picked up a poor habit that they vicariously adopted from my wife and I. Here’s the horrible habit: when one of their siblings were getting a spanking, they would sit outside the door and listen. Faith and I never “taught” them to do this, but I confess, I did it when I was growing up.
Its like slowing down at an accident.
Its bad, but we can’t seem to turn away.
What I never did, nor my children did, was to volunteer to stand in for their sibling. “Dad, I know that she did this, but go ahead and give me the spanking.” Never happened.
Now before you get overly concerned about spanking, this is not about the right / wrong of spanking. I will cover that in another time. Suffice to say, there’s a difference between spanking and beating; between correction and abuse.
Today we are more concerned about justice than we ever have been. I think that is good. People that do wrong to others should face certain justice, and society should shore up our attitude towards crime and justice.
Additionally, our efforts for justice are also carrying a missing tone; the community, not lashing out and rising up, but mourning and realizing that “it could have been me.” There are those that feel that some are innocent and others are guilty. Perhaps this is true for certain crimes and injustices, but we all should bear the burden of responsibility.
Isaiah 53 has many benefits for humanity: “by His stripes we are healed.” The same scripture that promises us healing, accuses us of wrong doing. The prophet points out that it is OUR weakness that he carried, OUR sorrows that weighed upon Him, OUR rebellion that caused Him to be pierced, OUR punishment due was upon Him, ALL of us like sheep have wandered…
In other words, no one is innocent; not even one. Romans 3.
In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 8, there is an extraordinary work of healing activity going on. Matthew observes over and over in his gospel these words, “that it might be fulfilled.” Matthew observes after that great day of healing and deliverance, “that it might be fulfilled” Isaiah 53:4 “…He took our sickness and removed our diseases.”
This was before Jesus died on the cross. He was “carrying” them to the cross.
He took our place.
There is wonderful peace and joy when we realize that God isn’t looking for us to show him how good we are. He isn’t looking for us to show others how good we are, or how well we are. He most certainly isn’t looking for us to try and take care of it ourselves, because “He carried our griefs and our sorrows.” By His stripes, the ones that should have been put upon me, we are healed.
Let us go and do likewise.