Summary: Jesus died to forgive our sins, and He also helps us bear our pain and suffering, as Isaiah 53 describes. Why would we want to bear our sin and suffering alone when Jesus stands at the ready?

[This is a short homily given at evening program at an inner-city mission church, mid-week meeting].

We’re in the season of Lent, when we get ready for Easter. Part of getting ready for Easter is preparing our hearts to be able to take in what Easter is about.

What is Easter about? It’s resurrection Sunday, the time when Jesus rose from the dead, defeating His own death, and actually defeating spiritual death for all who place their trust in Him.

The passage that _______ read says some interesting things. It says that he, Jesus, took our pain and bore our suffering.

That means that Jesus took my penalty, the price I would have to pay for my sins, on to Himself. He bore the suffering that I would endure in judgment, on Himself.

It also says that He took our pain upon Him. At the very least, that means that Jesus actively shares our pain.

He walks with us through suffering. You can’t avoid suffering in this life. But when we walk with Jesus, we NEVER walk alone.

You’ve experienced some real loses in your life, loses that really took a chunk out of you.

They really hurt. If you went through that with Jesus, trusting His love and trusting that He is with you, your burden was much lighter than it would have been if you walked alone.

The opposite is true too. If you didn’t trust Jesus through your pain, that meant that you carried the whole weight of that pain, when there was someone right beside you who wanted to help you bear the load.

The passage also says that He was pierced for our transgressions and crush for our iniquities. That’s talking about our sin. Sin is anything that offends God.

So again, in another way, the passage tells us that when Jesus suffered, it wasn’t for anything He had done. He was an innocent. Completely sinless, actually, we find as we read the Scriptures.

And as a purely innocent one He willingly took the hit for me, taking my wrong-doing, my selfish choices, my sins, on to His own perfect self.

And I don’t see this so much as religious stuff. I see this as someone who was called the friend of sinners, as Jesus was called, proving His friendship in the best, ultimate way.

At one point Jesus said:” Greater love has no one than this, than that He lays down His life for His friends”. He said those words, which are powerful words in themselves, eh?

But then He DIDN’T just say those words. He did those words. Having the choice to save His own life or to die for you, for me, He chose to die you you…and me.

It’s this that God means to get our attention with. To know that Jesus gave His life for us, and then to invite us into a relationship of trust, of deep friendship and companionship with God.

The passage finished with this: 6 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.

So it’s for all of us that Jesus died. That helps us see than none of us is any better than any other of us. We have in common this problem of sin, that so racks our lives with pain and deep hurt.

And we also have in common, all of us here in this room and here on this planet, that Jesus came to die for our sins, to take away our sins and bring His healing into our lives, His salvation into our lives, His joy into our lives.

So that’s why we get ready for Easter.

It’s heavy duty. It’s a lot to take into our brains and into our hearts.

I hope you will trust Him today. Ask Him to come into your life. Come to church here on Sundays to learn more, and then we can grow together as His people.

May we let it in, the truth of the gospel, the truth of Jesus’ love for each of us, and the truth that He has made a way for each of us to experience freedom and joy and salvation, right here and right now.

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