The Lesson from Isaiah most clearly shows what Jesus has done for us, but let us remember first that Jesus's death and ressurection are based on and shaped by the Passover (which begins this Wednesday night). The ancient church, and most especially Jewish Christians were well aware of this. The Passover Lamb was sacrificed. His blood was spread on the lintels of the door, so that the Angel of Death, seeing the blood would pass over that house. The blood of the lamb gave life, and not one of his bones was broken. Later that day, the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea. There they passed from death unto to life, from slavery to freedom, just as per the Gospel of St. Mark, when we confess and are baptised, we pass from slavery (to sin) to freedom (from sin), and from eternal death, to eternal life.
Now the reading from Isaiah tells us somewhat in more detail: He took our infirmities and carried our sorrows, he was pierced for our iniquities and punished for our transgressions, yet his punishment brought us peace. After his suffering he will see the light of day. H will justify many because he bore our sins.
We often miss the point. The point of the suffering of Jesus was to restore us to right relationship with God, with each other and with nature. When we truly seek those right relationships and allow God to guide us, then we will be better candidates to be the kingdom of heaven. God does not want us just to be saved. He wants us to be transfomed, to truly be made whole. Healing is part of this mission. Look again at Isaiah. He took our infirmities. One translation of this portion of Isaiah translates, "By his stripes, we are healed." Now when God heals us he does not just heal the disease, he heals the person. God doesn't see our cancer or our blood pressure. He sees the spiritual, moral and physical problems that lead up to that cancer. Depending on where you most need wholeness, he might just let you keep that cancer to deal with another area in your life which needs wholness. This is what God wants, true healing and wholeness so we may truly join with him in fellowship. When our bodies are whole, we will be able to do more. When our minds are whole, we will be in right relationship with naure and others. When our spirit is whole, we will be in right relationship with God the Father and will be ready for heaven.
Come join us for Holy Week and Easter.
Mar Michael Abportus, OSL