From the Cross To You
 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (ESV)
Tonight in this Tenebrae service, which is Latin for “darkness”, we hear from our Lord’s Word about His suffering and dying for our sins. The Tenebrae service is about the cross and our Lord who delivers His Word of gospel to all of mankind from Adam and Eve, all the way to your ears by His Spirit. It is called a service of darkness, because of the real effects of sin and rebellion against our Creator. Dark is the sin that has infected our Lord’s Creation which He made and declared that “It is good.” After creating our first parents, He even said “it is very good.” Once our first parents rebelled against God, sin and death were brought into our Lord’s good Creation, and yet, because of our guilt we try to trivialize sin to ease our own conscience, and even may call sin, mistakes, or imperfections, anything but sin. We even make cliché’s like, “Well, nobody’s perfect.” Original sin is far more than just bad choices or poor judgement, but is rather an infection with us from conception as David cried out in Psalm 51 : “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” We hope that God will somehow grade on a curve, or perhaps skip or overlook our misdeeds, but our problem is much deeper and darker than that. For our Lord’s Word diagnoses us far more accurately, as Psalm 53 declares “They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” And our text tonight in Is. 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way” For the darkness of Original Sin is much darker than we can even know.
So we may ask, like the rich young ruler, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” The Law, does not cleanse or heal, for it is always about what WE do or don’t do, which always ends in darkness and death on account of sin. We are lawbreakers, and the “wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 3:23) This is why the rich young ruler went away sad, because he was very rich, so Jesus, clearly and succinctly declared “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Jesus accomplished on Good Friday what you and I, and all of mankind are unable to do, for He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He came to save His people from their sins, and fulfill the righteous requirements of holy God for you. That which is impossible for you, as one born spiritually dead, this Good Friday evening, He did, for You. He suffered, as Isaiah prophesied hundreds of years before, and was crucified on a cross for you. According to our text, His suffering and punishment, was for you.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;” (Is. 53:4)
The wrath of God and the payment of sin, which is death, He took FOR YOU, so that from His cross He spoke light into the darkness that is sin and declared. “It is finished!” or Paid in FULL! So, as Isaiah tell us in Ch. 53 Certainly, surely, most assuredly, He carried YOUR sorrows, and YOUR grief. He was pierced and crushed FOR YOUR Sins. He was chastised, spurned and rejected so that YOU would have actual peace with God. And by HIS blood, you are healed, cleansed, restored and washed as white as snow. There is nothing else to be done, nothing for you to add, and He is the only One, the Incarnate God, who could have done anything about your condition and disease of Original Sin. The light, John tells us, shines in the darkness that is the Fall and works of sin, death and the devil. For the “Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for YOU, and for YOUR salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for YOU under Pontius Pilate.”
Even tonight, this Good Friday evening, His Holy voice from the cross to YOU, because of His obedience unto death, even death on a cross, declares that He has taken every last bit of your sin to the cross, and has paid the penalty for all of it. Your Lord and Savior tonight, delivers to you His Holy Body and Blood for the forgiveness of all of your sin. Everything that you may be busy trying to reform, fix clean or rehabilitate, He bled and died for. Nothing more is to be done, for it is finished. Your Lord loves you tonight with an everlasting love, so that nothing in all the universe can separate you from Him. His love is not an abstract, mystical or unknowable love, but a demonstrated, and historic love that you can most assuredly know beyond a doubt the He is FOR YOU and not against You, for “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
Thanks be to God that the iniquity of us all has been laid upon Him, and to Him be the glory forever and ever.
In the Name of Jesus, AMEN