"Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." (Isaiah 53:4-6)Even in His death, Jesus was misunderstood. He was misunderstood by His enemies and by His friends. To His enemies, He was getting what He deserved. As He hung dying on the cross, those around Him mocked Him saying "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He delights in Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'' " (Matthew 27:42-43) To them, His death was proof positive that He was not really anything special at all, and He certainly was not the Messiah. To His friends, His death was the end of their hopes and desires. While the two walked on the road to Emmaus, they spoke, not knowing it was Him, to Jesus of His death saying "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened." (Luke 24:21) In His death, they say all they hoped for vanish. Even His disciples did not understand His need to die. When speaking of it, Peter rebuked His saying "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You." (Matthew 16:22)
One of the greatest statements of misunderstanding came from one of the criminals being crucified with Him. He mocked Him saying, "Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!" (Luke 23:39) What they did not understand was that, has He saved Himself, He would have condemned all of humanity for all eternity. His death was the only hope left for mankind. We were lost in our sins and transgressions and all our efforts could not reconcile us to God. We had lost eternal life and only the death of God on a cross could restore it to us. The only way He could save us was to not save Himself.
Consider what Jesus achieved for us on the cross:
- He bore our griefs, sickness, our diseases.
- He carried our grief, pain, and sorrow.
- He was wounded and bruised for our forgiveness.
- He was chastised that we might have peace with God.
- His stripes purchased us healing.
- He took upon Himself our iniquity and carried it to the cross.