But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Most children hit a time in their lives when they long for freedom and independence. During this developmental stage they can become rebellious, obstinate, secretive, and very difficult to keep under control.
It is not my intent to cast stones at teens because I was once one of them. I can’t recall that I was particularly rebellious but I do remember how desperately I wanted to move out and try to make it on my own.
I grew up in a small town and about our only contact with the outside world was a black and white television. On a good day we could pick up three snowy channels by manipulating the rabbit ears antenna that sat atop the TV. Granddaddy claimed to have improved our reception by wrapping the rabbit ears in aluminum foil.
My grandparents made all choices in regards to television programming. During the day Mammaw watched her favorite soap operas and talked back at them as if she was part of the show. She frequently responded to the women in these shows by calling them hussies.
In the evening Graddaddy took over the TV control knob (nope, no remote control) beginning with the Huntley-Brinkley Report followed by a series of Westerns and cop shows. He also talked to the TV. Actually, it was more of a grunt of disapproval.
Breakfast was at 5, lunch at 11, and dinner was at 4 every day of the year with no exceptions. We followed the same seating arrangement at every meal and rotated the same menu from week to week. Any attempts at talking during meals were greeted by that all too familiar grunt from Granddaddy. Come to think of it, he never really talked much. But, by the tone of his grunt we knew what he meant.
From the aforementioned mundane structure I grew increasingly desirous of life on my own which would include a color TV, meals when I wanted, and my own set of wheels. My ticket to my new life came soon after graduation when I joined the Navy and headed off to boot camp. It didn’t take long for me to realize that life on my own wasn’t the dream world for which I had hoped but I definitely preferred my newfound independence over my former way of life.
There is an inner desire in all of us for independence. From a spiritual perspective when we come into the world, we have already declared our independence from God. Although we have a sin nature there is also a natural desire in all of us for spirituality. Before us are numerous choices for fulfilling that spiritual desire but there is only one way that truly satisfies.
Jesus refers to those who are wandering spiritually as “sheep without a shepherd.” (Mt 9:36) Jesus expressed that concern out of compassion because “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.” God allows you to do your own thing spiritually but He grieves over the wrong choices because they all lead to eternal destruction and removal from the blessings of God.
The independent life apart from God is a sinful life that leaves you at enmity with the Lord. Your spiritual wandering produces a sickness that leads to death. That’s why you require dependence on God.
At Easter we celebrate a historical event in which God, out of His compassion and love for you and me, provided a remedy for our fatal spiritual disease through the death and victorious resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities.”
Jesus paid the penalty that we deserve for our sinful life of independence from God. “The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
The Easter victory means those who trust in God’s provision are at “peace” with God and they have been “healed” of their sin affliction. Jesus took care of our sin problem by paying the penalty we deserve for our transgressions. “The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Trusting in Christ is declaring your dependence on God.
The desire for independence is strong in all of us. So much so that many years ago here in the United States of America our nation united under a document called The Declaration of Independence. A more important document was signed nearly 2,000 years ago and written in the blood of Jesus Christ.
To accept the tenants of that great ancient document is to surrender to Jesus as the Lord of your life. It is, in effect, your Declaration of Dependence on God that guarantees that you have been set free from the bondage of sin. “By his wounds we are healed.”
During this Easter season, rededicate yourself to the Lordship of Christ. Reaffirm your dedication to dependence on God.
Instead of declaring your independence, declare your dependence on God.
For more on this topic, check out this article: God Knows the Reality of Your Heart
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.