Isaiah 53:4-6 (NLT)
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God�s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
Before the birth of Christ the prophet Isaiah spoke of Him. The prophet tells us that it was out weaknesses and sorrows that he carried. He goes on to say Christ took the punishment we should have endured for our sin. While we tend to want to follow our own paths, pursuing our own way; God in His mercy laid on Christ the sins of us all.
A principal at a parochial middle school asks, "How many times have you been to my office?" The boy says, "Not enough, I guess." "You've gotten the belt each time." "Yeah, and I can take whatever you dish out." The principal pauses for a moment to think and then quietly says, "Today you learn about grace."
The boy asks, "You gonna let me walk?" The principal replies, "Yes, I'm going to let you walk." The boy studies the face of the principal. "No punishment at all?" "Oh, there has to be punishment," says the principal. "What you did was wrong, and there are always consequences to our actions." "I knew it," says the boy as he holds out his hands. "Go ahead." The principal takes hold of a belt, folds it in two, and then hands it to the boy's teacher. He tells the boy, "I want you to count the blows." The principal then extends his own hands toward the teacher and says, "Ten strokes." The belt snaps across the outstretched hands of the principal. Shock registers on the boy's face. By the fourth stroke, tears well up in the boy's eyes. "Stop! That's enough!" the boy yells. But the belt continues to crack across the principal's hands. The boy counts out loud, "Five�six�seven�eight�nine�ten." The principal stands with sweat glistening on his forehead, his hands swollen and red. He reaches over, puts his swollen hand on the shoulder of the boy, and says just one word: "Grace."
The greatest consequence for sin was death, eternal separation from God. Yet God sent His son Jesus to take the punishment for our sin extending the greatest love He could offer, His own death to give us Life. Grace! It is a word we should all remember.