I have clung to this verse rather feverishly through the last 4 years:
Isaiah 53:12 (NIV)
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Because I am a transgressor
And he was numbered with me
It really does not feel good being a transgressor. First there is the spiritual malaise of sin. Then there is the divide it creates between me and God. Next there is this fun fact: while all regular humans are sinners, we pretend we are not.
Jesus was no regular human.
He was poor, dark, and hated. His nickname was “bastard.”
He bore our shame.
He bore my shame.
Isaiah 53 is a chapter as hard as obsidian, so painful, so crucial. And it was written by a guy who walked around naked for 3 years just because God told him to do it.
I figure the naked walking was God’s writing seminar. Not fun or pretty, but soaring, redemptive, essential.
Do you know Jesus?
If you do, you know the only color that matters when describing him is blood red. Blood shed for me, one miserable transgressor.
And if you don’t? Walk that road, that narrow road he lights for us, to the Cross that sets us free.