For Our Transgressions
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
The 53rd chapter of Isaiah (actually the chapter should begin at Isaiah 52:13) contains the clearest and fullest exposition of the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ for our sins to be found in all the Bible. Our text verse is the central verse of this chapter, which, in turn, is the central chapter of Isaiahs second division, Chapters 4066.
Although the chapter-and-verse divisions of the Bible were not part of the original inspired text, it almost seems that some of themnotably here in Isaiahwere somehow providentially guided. Part I of Isaiah contains 39 chapters and Part II 27 chapters, just as the Old and New Testaments have 39 and 27 books, respectively. Likewise, the major themes of the two Testamentslaw and judgment in the Old, grace and salvation in the Newrespectively dominate the two divisions of Isaiah. Many other correlations can be discernedfor example the second division begins with the prophecy of John the Baptist and ends with the prophecy of the new heavens and the new earth, just as the New Testament does.
Be that as it may, this central verse of the central chapter of Isaiahs salvation division surely displays the very heart of the gospel. Christ was wounded (literally thrust through, as with great spikes) and bruised (literally crushed to death) for our sins. On the other hand, we receive peace with God because He was chastised (i.e., disciplined) in our place, and we are forever healed of our lethal sin-sickness because He received the stripes (i.e., great welts caused by severe blows) that should have been ours. What wondrous love is this! HMM