Text: Isaiah 62:11 - 63:7
The trampler is the trampled. The vanquished is the victor. The blood poured out is His own.
So unusual is the sight that the question rings out: Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments?
“It is I,” says the Lord. “Speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.”
This bloody scene is the way it must be. Jesus goes alone. Indeed, He must. There is no one who can help Him. No one able. No one who can bear the awful load, the weight of the world’s sin. The day of vengeance had come. The wrath of God will be poured out against all sin, all rebellion, all iniquity. Jesus drinks that cup of wrath down to its dregs. He takes it all and is crushed - not by man, but by His Father, in our place. He dies that we may live.
This bloody scene is still the way it must be. Although many would like a clean, sanitary Jesus, and never have to look at Him on the cross or acknowledge the horrid reality that it was our sin, your sin, my sin, that put Him there, it must be this way. We must look and behold our Saviour is all His agony and death, so disfigured that we ask: Who is this? Can this be our God?
Indeed it is! Saving us in His mighty weakness. This is His steadfast love. This is His compassion and great goodness. This is His glory and the object of our praise.
And so Isaiah said: Say to the daughter of Zion, - to those born from the gracious dwelling of God with us, which is you and me. Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.”
His salvation, His reward, His recompense. What is this that He brings for us, provides for us, the payback for our sins against Him? The gifts of His forgiveness, life eternal, and salvation from our enemies. By His blood He restores us as sons and daughters of God, rightful heirs again of His kingdom. Though we threw it all away and still do, He comes and keeps coming to offer it again. We’ll hear it again tomorrow night: Take, eat, this is My Body. Take, drink, this is My Blood. Same Body, same Blood, from cross to altar, for you.
Some deny that. Those who want a clean, sanitary Jesus don’t want His Blood in the cup! But a clean, sanitary Jesus is no Jesus, no Saviour, at all. He came to be bloodied, and to give that blood for you, to you. And with the blood of the new covenant, the new testament on you and in you, that you be reconciled to God and at peace with God once again. There is no other way.
And because of that bloody scene, this is true for you as well:
And they shall be called The Holy People,
The Redeemed of the Lord;
and you shall be called Sought Out,
A City Not Forsaken.
For He was the forsaken one on the cross, He came to seek you out, He came to redeem you from your sins, and to make you holy once again. And when the mouth of the Lord calls you something, all these things, then that is what you are. His Word does what it says.
In the Name of the Father, and of the (+) Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.