Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Isaiah 53:1-12 and 1 Corinthians 8:1-13.

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (NIV)

I love the whole of Isaiah 53. It reminds me of why I became a Christian in the first place. At that time, I needed God to forgive me for many things and a whole host of mistakes. I felt ashamed of who I was, what I had done, and where I had ended up. I was lost in my own sinfulness and hated praying to God for mercy. I couldn’t change the past and didn’t want to ask repeatedly to alter my life because I was stuck in my own spiritual rut and I was caught in my own ditch of despair. I knew that time was running out for me to turn away from the things that were destroying me, so in desperation, I reached out to God for one last time.

It worked. Within a couple of months, I was on a different path. Jesus had come into my life in a big way. I was no longer the same person; I still had my flaws (and still do), but for the first time in my life I felt truly forgiven of all the awful things I had done. During those pivotal months, I re-read Isaiah 53 and I, at last, understood what Jesus did to save me. Even though the whole chapter was written about 700 years before Christ was born, it detailed how and why Jesus died for my sins. More than anything else, those beautiful words from Isaiah changed me forever, so when I get to re-read them, I joyfully re-experience my salvation. 😊

Perhaps you are feeling guilty about something bad in your life or you have regrets about the past. Maybe you don’t know how to approach God with those events or even feel that God can never forgive you. Please know this: Jesus died for all of your mistakes and he can restore you completely to God’s mercy, grace, and love. Just re-read Isaiah 53 and realize that God fully prepared and accomplished everything necessary through Christ to forgive every one of your sins by giving you every part of God’s great love.

Point to ponder

Do I want to be fully forgiven and really restored to God? Am I willing to accept that Jesus has already done this for me?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know me completely and are fully aware of all my mistakes. I regret all that I have sinfully done. Please accept me for who I am and change me into what God wants me to become. In Your Holy Name, I humbly confess and pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s Good Friday drawings called “Outside.” If you would like to view a larger version, click this link: Outside.