Jesus Paid it All

“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.”

Recorded in, Isaiah 53:6

Jesus paid it all!

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

This well known text is one of the most often quoted Old Testament verses, which looks forward to the crucifixion of Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin.

It is foreshadowed in the exodus of God’s people, Israel, out of their captivity in Egypt.

The Lord’s final curse on the stubborn pharaoh was to be the death of every firstborn in Egypt, except in those houses where the blood of a sacrificed lamb had been sprinkled over the door.

The angel of death would pass over those homes so that none inside died. Hence, the institution of the Jewish observance of Passover.

For the followers of Jesus, our text looks forward to the sacrifice of Jesus, as the once and for all offering to God as the ransom price for our sin. As Paul later wrote:

“Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:7)

So, it is important for us to learn and know what was happening when the Lord laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all.

1. The crucifixion of Jesus was a punishment.

The holy God has to punish our willful sin. Israel was given a sacrificial system to atone for their sins, but these sacrifices had to be offered over and over again. God spoke earlier:

“ I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.” (Isaiah 13:11)

This is the future for those who refuse God’s offer of salvation:

“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might”

(1 Thessalonians 1:9)

Earlier in our chapter it is described this way:

“But 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)

Chastisement is punishment.

This was God’s holy and perfect will for us from the beginning, and it is the very thing that Jesus accepted in prayer, prior to His arrest, trial and crucifixion.

“And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

This is not, as one writer so wrongly described it: “cosmic child abuse.”

This is the glorious and gracious work of Father, Son and Holy Spirit to obtain our salvation.

2. The crucifixion of Jesus was a propitiation.

This is a grand biblical word that should be learned and used more often. It’s a sad fact that many modern translations of the Bible displace it with the phrase, “atoning sacrifice”, or something similar. This is the unfortunate practice of using more words than are necessary.

Propitiation basically means getting in between two things. In this case it is the just wrath of God coming on the deserving sinner, me, and Jesus, on the cross, coming between me and that just wrath of God, and deflecting it by taking it on Himself.

See what Scripture says, first from Paul.

“For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.”

(Romans 3:22–25)

Then from the author of Hebrews, speaking of Jesus:

“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17)

And John, a disciple and apostle of Jesus.

“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world … In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 2:2; 4:10)

3. The crucifixion of Jesus was a pardon.

Later in our chapter:

“Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11)

By His death on the cross Jesus has made many to be accounted righteous, our sin pardoned forever.

David cried out:

“For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great.” (Psalm 25:11)

And look at this wondrous invitation from the Lord a little later in this book:

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)

Sin is serious.

Sin is our most serious condition.

Sin has to be forgiven by God, and this can come only through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

It is by the resurrection that we live, but there would have been no resurrection without the Lord laying on Him the iniquity of us all.

Consider these grand words form the 19th Century hymn writer, Philip P. Bliss, in, Hallelujah! What a Savior.

“Bearing shame and scoffing rude,

In my place condemned He stood;

Sealed my pardon with His blood.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!”

Soli Deo gloria!