Question 19: Is there any way to escape punishment and be brought back into God’s favor? | Isaiah 53:10-11

QUESTION: Is there any way to escape punishment and be brought back into God’s favor?

ANSWER: Yes, to satisfy his justice, God himself, out of mere mercy, reconciles us to himself and delivers us from sin and from the punishment for sin, by a Redeemer.
We all experience burdens from time to time. Have you ever been burdened with something that, at least for a season, didn’t let up? If so, describe what it was like having such a heavy weight on your shoulders.

All of humanity suffers under the weight of sin and idolatry. God himself, through his Son, relieves the burden of sin through Jesus’ abundant sacrifice for us on the cross.

Isaiah 53:10-11
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Because the burden of sin is a universal phenomenon (even though not everyone calls it “sin”), societies have learned multiple ways to address it. Some deal with sin by saying  “other people” are the problem and cause of it. Others deal with it by wishing away the reality of sin (both personally and socially) and by teaching that God will not judge it in the end.

Why do you think society has difficulty addressing this burden? How have you addressed this burden in your life?

When Jesus went to the cross, he willingly took into himself the burden of sin.  Before he died, he cried out, “it is finished.”  This phrase means that the most significant burden you and I face has already been relieved through Jesus’ complete, overabundant, sacrificial gift of himself for us. If this is true (and it is!), how does that change how we relate to God? How does that impact how we relate to each other?
This week take note of the many layers of burden people carry. Meditate on the reality that Jesus desires to take that load for them. Look for ways you can introduce the freedom Jesus offers to those who desperately need it.

O Reconciling One, thank you for making a way for us. You have been perfect, both in justice and in mercy. We accept the salvation we do not deserve. We come before you in the name of Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, trusting in his merits rather than our own. Amen.