We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. -Isaiah 53:6
That was me a few weeks ago. As I was driving home after spending all day at the office, I was reflecting on my day and had an overwhelming feeling like the day was an epic fail. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but the day was full of so many misses, faux pas, and careless thoughts, words, and actions that by the time I arrived home, I was practically despondent. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or do anything. I was sucking as a Christ follower, as a leader, as a pastor… it felt like speaking to anyone was probably just going to end in an enormous disaster.
When I feel this way, it’s honestly rare for me to consider Scripture. I don’t say that proudly. It’s probably more a sign of immaturity than anything else. But for whatever reason, as I arrived home, emptied the dishwasher, and changed into clothes to go to bed, I started thinking about what Scripture might have to speak into my life. The above Isaiah text was one verse that came to mind.
It’s a prophecy about Jesus. Isaiah 53 is this gripping text that foreshadows the death Christ would die on our behalf so we could be reunited in our relationship with God. Here, God is speaking prophetically through Isaiah to make the statement our sin would be taken up in Jesus so that we could be made holy and washed clean.
I’ve read this verse and this passage many times before. As a high schooler, for some odd reason, it was especially meaningful to me. But as this verse came to mind for me on this frustrating evening, the word “all” continued to echo in my mind. It rolled around in my heart.
Certainly, in Isaiah’s writing of this text, the word “all” communicates that every single person’s sin has been laid upon Jesus. When Christ gave his life, our sin was perfectly paid for, regardless of who we are. It doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile. Church person or a “sinner.” It doesn’t matter what sin you struggle with. Every single person is a candidate to come back to God because all of us have seen our iniquity, our sin, laid on Jesus.
But on this particular night, the word “all” triggered thoughts of something else; not just all of us, but all my sin. Even today’s. For whatever reason, I felt like my sin was out of control. It reared its ugly head in my life, and it was on full display for all to see. On days when I feel like I’m a good person, I don’t have a problem allowing Jesus to absorb my sin, probably because I don’t feel like it’s really that much in comparison to others. But on days where I really need his grace, I feel ashamed. I see the full weight of my sin separating me from God and being pushed upon my Savior. It makes me feel guilty. Angry. Sad. All at once.
But here’s the great news: All my sin has been laid on him. Yesterday’s. Today’s. Tomorrow’s. The good days. The eh days. The bad ones. It’s all with Jesus. And while the Holy Spirit is working on me more and more each day to form and shape me into the image of Jesus, I don’t need to worry about my sin. It’s been paid for. All of it. So I can quit beating myself up about it. I can quit worrying. I can be freed from my shame. It’s all been paid for. There’s no sense in forcing myself to try and pay for it again.