All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
– Isaiah 53:6 NASB
Isaiah is telling us what we human beings look like: sheep without a shepherd. When a shepherd is struck down, the sheep are scattered. The human race is like a kingdom without a king – everyone doing what is right in his own eyes. The only remedy for lost sheep is a shepherd, and the only remedy for a king-less kingdom is a king.
God was shepherd and king in the garden of Eden. Satan’s desire was to strike down the shepherd, to remove the king from the throne. To accomplish this, he tempted Eve. Her sin was not an act of defiance against God – it was rather a breakdown of trust. The evil one persuaded Eve that God either didn’t say, or didn’t mean, what He said. Eve became confused and trusted what she saw instead of what God said. Adam followed suit. This is how the human race came to be sheep without a shepherd, a kingdom without a king.
God could have let that be the end of things, but He was unwilling to leave Adam and Eve and all their offspring in the hands of an evil influence. God painstakingly worked over several thousand years until He had set the stage to enter the human race Himself. In becoming one of the sheep, He gave His life as an expression of His love and as an example of how humans should act. His generous life was interrupted by a cruel execution – the kind only deserved by the worst of sinners. Thus “the iniquity of us all fell on Him.”
In being raised from the dead on the third day, God could return to His throne and be the shepherd and king that the human race had been so desperately lacking. All human beings have to do now is what the first human beings didn’t – trust what God says more than what we see. After what He went through, we certainly have sufficient reason.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for not giving up on humanity! Your patient and forgiving nature show through in the long-term plan You undertook to bring us back under Your loving authority. Thank You especially for being patient with me. Strengthen me to be this patient with others today…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.