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The Exchange Introduced
At the close of the last session we had arrived at Isaiah 53:4–6 and I pointed out to you that these are very uniquely placed verses. If you take the last 27 chapters of Isaiah, these verses are in the middle chapter and the middle verse. I think the Holy Spirit is telling us this is the heart of the message of salvation. You know that the name of Isaiah is directly linked with the Hebrew word for salvation. He is the prophet of salvation. Here is the essence, the heart of salvation.
We’ll look once more at verse 6 and consider its meaning a little more carefully.
All we like sheep have gone astray...
“All we” leaves out no one. Do we agree about that? Does that apply to all of us? You don’t have to tell me but you need to make your mind up.
...we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him [that is Jesus] the iniquity of us all.
That word iniquity is an interesting and important word. The Hebrew word is avon. That word is here translated iniquity and most times in the King James, the New King James and I think the New American Standard it’s translated iniquity. Its basic meaning is guilt. Another way of rendering it is perversity. What is our guilt? What is the guilt of the whole human race? You won’t find it by looking at my face! It’s down there in the verse. What have we all done? We’ve gone astray and particularly have done what? Turned to our own way. I think the most contemporary translation is rebellion. That’s the universal guilt of the whole human race.
But Isaiah says “the Lord has laid upon him the guilt [the perversity, the rebellion] of all of us.” There’s another sort of free translation which says “the Lord made to meet together upon him the guilt [perversity, rebellion] of all of us.”
I remember the second time I went to a Pentecostal church before I had met the Lord and I felt I was in very strange circumstances. At the end of the message the preacher said, “If you want this, whatever it is, put your hand up.” I knew they were all talking to me because I was the only sinner present. And the previous time I had been two days earlier in a different church the preacher said this, you know, “every head bowed, every eye closed, put your hand up.” I was offended. I’d never been in any place where they told me in church to put my hand up. I sat there in the silence wondering what was going to happen next and what happened next was somebody else put my hand up. My hand went right up in the air and I knew I had not raised it. Talk about emotionalism, I was nervous! Then they said to me in this strange language they used, “There’s going to be revival in the Assemblies of God.” Well, I didn’t know what a revival was and I had no idea what the Assemblies of God were but I thought, “if this is part of this thing I’ll go and see what is going on.”
This is my second service and the man preached on Enoch was not because the Lord took him. He was one of those preachers who believe in making things vivid and up to date. And so he drew a modern picture—this is Britain—of the CID which would be the FBI here in America coming with their tracking dogs to trace the missing Enoch. The dogs followed the scent so far and then there was no more scent, it didn’t go north or south or east or west. So they concluded he must have gone up. Well, with my logical background I can see that’s logical. Then we got to the end of this message and I knew what was coming, every head bowed, every eye closed, and put your hand up. I said to myself, “Somebody did it for me last time, I couldn’t expect that to happen twice. If I really want this I better put my own hand up.” I put my own hand up and after that there was a sigh of relief and they went on with the service. I mean, sinners were few and far between in services in those days. In this quote, revival, I was the only person that raised my hand in one week.
But anyhow—they were disappointed at the result. At the end the preacher came up to me and he looked at me and I looked at him and I think he thought he had a problem on his hands. So he asked me two questions. He said, “Do you believe that you’re a sinner?” My specialty in philosophy was definitions so the natural way for me to answer that question was quickly run through all the definitions of a sinner I could think of. And every one of them fitted me exactly. So I said, “Yes, I believe I’m a sinner.” Then he said, “Do you believe that Christ died for your sins?” I remember very clearly what I said. I said, “To tell you the truth, I can’t see what the death of Jesus Christ 19 centuries ago could have to do with the sins that I’ve committed in my lifetime.” And there I reached a block. And he was wise enough not to argue with me. I’m sure he went away and prayed for me.
Well, then I met the Lord and my intellectual problems were set on one side but they were not totally disposed of. I still didn’t fully understand how something that had happened 19 centuries earlier could relate to the sins I’d committed in my lifetime. But it says here the Lord made to meet together upon him the iniquity [or the guilt] of us all.
But one day reading in Hebrews 9 I found the answer for me. It might not be the answer for others. Hebrews 9:14 is speaking about the power of the blood of Jesus and it says:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Notice that phrase again “he offered himself.”
The word for sacrifice I pointed out, he was the priest and he was the sacrifice. As a priest he offered his sacrifice which was himself. But the words that resolved my problem were the words that came before that, “through the eternal Spirit.”
Now because of my knowledge of classical languages I knew exactly what the word eternal means. It doesn’t mean an endless period of time, it means something that’s out of time, in a different realm from time. And so I understood that what happened at Calvary was in the eternal realm. It wasn’t just limited to a point in human history although it was a point in human history. But in that transaction there, God the Father took the iniquity of all men of all ages, past present and future and laid them upon Jesus on the cross. That resolved my problem.
Going back now to Isaiah 53:6. The word avonthat you have up there not only means guilt but it means the punishment for guilt. And in translating from Hebrew you have to determine sometimes by the context shall it be translated guilt or punishment for guilt. And sometimes you have to translate it both. So that God not only laid on Jesus the guilt of us all—now listen, this is vitally important—but he laid upon him the punishment for the guilt of us all.
Just because this is so important I want to take a few examples from the Old Testament where this word avonis used and show you how it’s translated. We’ll turn, first of all, to Genesis 4:13. This is the cry of Cain after God had pronounced judgment on him for the murder of his brother.
“Cain said to the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.”
The word is avon. Not only my guilt, but the punishment for my guilt.
And then an interesting passage in 1Samuel 28:10 where King Saul at the end of his life did a very terrible thing and went to consult a witch. The witch didn’t want to respond to his request because the penalty for witchcraft was death. She didn’t know she was dealing with the King of Israel at the time. But Saul made this promise to her.
Saul swore to her by the Lord saying, As the Lord lives no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.
The word is avon. You will not have to answer for your guilt. So it’s not so much guilt as punishment for guilt.
And then in Job 19:29. We don’t need to go into the context but it says:
Be afraid of the sword for yourself, for wrath brings the punishment of the sword.
Where you could hardly translate it the guilt of the sword. You have to translate it punishment.
And then two passages in Lamentations. Lamentations 4:6 and 22. If you’re having trouble finding Lamentation, which could happen, it comes at the end of Jeremiah.
The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom.
You’ll see there it’s translated both punishment and iniquity. The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people. You see, it’s a concept that we don’t actually have in English. So in translating we have to be flexible.
And then the same chapter, Lamentation 4:22:
The punishment of your iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion.
Again it’s translated both punishment and iniquity.
Now that’s very important because it’s the key to understanding what happened when Jesus died on the cross. God the Father made to meet together upon him the guilt, the perversity, the rebellion of all of us and all the evil consequences that follow rebellion. I’m going to say that again because it’s crucial. If you miss me here you’ll be trailing for the rest of these sessions. This is the key. God the Father made to meet together on Jesus on the cross the iniquity, the guilt, the rebellion of us all and all the evil consequences of rebellion.
Now if you can once grasp that, that’s the key to the storehouse. Everything you need is contained in that revelation. We’re going to study and see to some extent how it’s worked out. Let me say it this way: What happened on the cross was a divinely ordained exchange. Think of that key word exchange. All the evil due to our rebellion met together upon Jesus. That’s the left hand. The right hand is the opposite. That all the good due to the sinless obedience of Jesus might be made available to us.
Now I’m going to say that again because I have to imprint it on your mind. It’s contrary to our natural thinking, we wouldn’t reason it out that way. All the evil due to our rebellion came upon Jesus on the cross that all the good due to his sinless obedience might be made available to us. Or, to say it very shortly, the evil came upon Jesus that the good might be made available to us.
Now I’d like you to participate with me in saying that because as a teacher I know that when you act you get more. So I want you to observe me and then do what I do. Don’t do it the first time, just observe. The evil came upon Jesus, that’s my left hand, that the good might be made available to us. I want you to use your left and your right hand. Put your pen or paper or whatever it is down. Don’t follow me because my left is your right. Use your left. Okay? The evil came upon Jesus that the good might be made available to us. Let’s say that again. The evil came upon Jesus that the good might be made available to us.
Now I want to change one word. This is to help you. Instead of saying us say me. Now it’s very personal, it’s just you and God. You know what they say at the cross? There’s only room for one at the foot of the cross? You’re the one now. You’re looking up at the cross, you see his body beaten, bleeding, a horrifying spectacle, something that you don’t really want even to look at or think about. And then you say this. [Now we’re going to say me, remember.] The evil due to me came upon Jesus that the good due to Jesus might be made available to me. That’s right. It’s when you make it personal. Now you may not have felt any change but you have opened the way to the treasure house when you’ve grasped that one central fact.
Now what I’m going to say to you will be straight out of the Bible and you might say it isn’t true. But the truth of the matter is it is true and if you will begin to hear it and say it and think it, it’ll become true in your experience. See, God deals in things that we don’t think are real. God said to Abraham, “I’ve made you the father of many nations.” He didn’t have a son of his own! But God said, “I have made you.” As far as God was concerned it had happened already. So when God says he’s made all the evil to meet upon Jesus, as far as God is concerned it’s happened. It takes you a long while to appropriate what God has done but it’s there all the time. Can you grasp that?
Now let’s look at some aspects of the exchange. Actually, in your outline that you have I’ve listed ten. I don’t want you to imagine for a moment that’s complete, it’s just a specimen. You may recall that when the Lord spoke to me through that young woman from Oklahoma he said, “Consider the work of Calvary, a perfect work, perfect in every respect, perfect in every aspect.” So there are respects and there are aspects. We are going to look, if you wish to say it, at ten different aspects of the work of Calvary. Ten different ways to view what God accomplished there by the death of Jesus.
We’ll begin with Isaiah 53:4–5. I’ll read them again.
Let me pause there because I want to bring out something in the language. That’s the most emphatic way possible to emphasize the word he. What the Holy Spirit is doing is directing our attention away from ourselves and our problems to him who is the solution. The word surely in Hebrew is akenand it’s a word that’s used to direct your attention to the next word that follows. Then in Hebrew, as in some other languages—maybe not languages that you’re familiar with unless you know for instance Russian—but in Latin, Greek and Hebrew you can either put the pronoun in with the verb or leave it out. But the form of the verb tells you what it is anyhow. Can you get that? So you can say “he bore” without putting in he. But if you put the he in, you’re emphasizing it. And if you put the word akenin front of the he, you’re doubly emphasizing it. So what we get is all the emphasis placed on he. He’s the solution. There’s no solution in ourselves. We don’t have the answer. But if we can only turn ourselves away from ourselves and our own problems to him on the cross, he is the solution.
Surely he has borne our grief...
But the literal meaning of that word is sicknesses. I’m glad that I have Martin Luther on my side. In the German version he uses the two standard German words ?conkite? and ?schmertz?, sickness and pain. And that is the correct meaning of those words all through the Hebrew language from Moses down to the present day. Still the word that’s used to be sick is the same word. So I’m going to give you the literal translation which you do find in some versions. It’s an extraordinary thing to me that the modern versions which are not hesitant to correct the King James in a whole lot of areas don’t do it in this area. You know why? Because their translator’s mind couldn’t grasp the reality of the fact that Jesus actually took our sicknesses. That’s a tremendous hurdle for a theological mind to get over, isn’t it?
Surely he has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains. Yet we esteemed his stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.
I remember once in l947 I was talking to a Jewish man in the streets of Jerusalem. I told him that I believed Jesus was the Messiah. I always remember his answer. He said, “He couldn’t have been a good man. If he had been a good man God would never have let him suffer like that.” And that’s exactly what Isaiah says. We did esteem him smitten by God and afflicted. But, verse 5:
He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised [or crushed] for our iniquities, the chastisement [or punishment] for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes [or his wounds] we are healed.
There are two aspects in those verses. First of all, the punishment in verse 5, “for our peace came upon him.” The punishment due to our wrongdoing came upon Jesus. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. That’s the opposite. It says in verse 5 the punishment for our peace that we might have peace. Until the punishment for sin had been inflicted there was no possibility of peace. But Jesus was punished that we might have peace with God through being forgiven.
If you want to look at those two passages there that I mentioned, Ephesians 2:14–17, speaking about what took place on the cross. Paul says:
“He himself [that’s Jesus and notice the emphasis on he] is our peace who has made both one [that’s Jew and Gentile] has broken down the middle wall of division between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; so as to create in himself one new man from the two, thus making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And he came and preached peace to you who were afar off, and to those who were near.”
Notice the emphasis is on the word peace. There can be no peace for the sinner until he knows that his sin has been forgiven.
And just to confirm that in Colossians 1:19–20.
“For it pleased the Father that in him [Jesus] all the fullness should dwell; and by him to reconcile all things to himself, by him were the things on earth the things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of his cross.”
So Jesus was punished that we might have peace through being forgiven.
I think we’ll practice doing this with out hands because I want this to be imprinted on your mind. I want you from this time onwards never to be able to forget. I’ll do it once. If I do it wrong you correct me because I sometimes get it wrong. With my left hand I’ll do the evil, with my right hand I’ll do the good. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. All right, that’s very simple, isn’t it? But it’s very important. This time I want you to do it with me. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. Let’s do it once more. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. Now we’re going to do I and me. This is very personal, it’s you at the foot of the cross, nobody else there. God is dealing only with you. I’ll do it once then you do it together. Jesus was punished that I might be forgiven. Jesus was punished that I might be forgiven. All right, that’s the first aspect of the exchange.
Now, in the same two verses we get the physical aspect of the exchange which is just as clear. Going back to verse 4:
Surely he has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains. [And then verse 5:] He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement [or punishment] that brought us peace was upon him; and by his stripes [or wounds] we are healed.
Notice how logical it is? He took our sicknesses, he bore our pains and by his wounds we are healed. The Hebrew there for “we are healed” is rather difficult to render in English but I’ll say it this way: It was healed for us. That’s the nearest I can get. So you can say healing was obtained for us. Why? Because he took our sicknesses and bore our pains. Therefore, healing was obtained for us.
To make it short and simple we will say he was wounded that we might be what? Healed. That’s very simple, isn’t it? But very important. It concerns a lot of us here at this present time. He was wounded that we might be healed.
Before we do that I want to emphasize that the New Testament totally endorses this interpretation because this passage of Isaiah is quoted twice in Matthew 8 and in 1Peter 2. In each case it was a Jew quoting it who understood Hebrew and in each case he was inspired by the Holy Spirit. So we have a totally reliable and authoritative interpretation.
Keep your finger in Isaiah 53 in case we need to go back there and turn to Matthew 8:16–17. Now this is the opening of the public ministry of Jesus. This is the first time he began to minister in public. It says when evening had come, because it was a Sabbath, and the Jews were not allowed to travel or to carry anything on the Sabbath. So they had to wait until the Sabbath was over to come to him and bring their sick.
“When evening had come, they brought to him many who were demon possessed; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick.”
Notice how many he healed? [Congregation said all.] Are you sure of that? What did it say? [All.] Did it, really? Now, why did he do that? The next verse tells you.
“That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying, He himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”
What is he quoting? Isaiah 53:4. And notice that he uses two words for physical problems. Infirmities and sicknesses. If you were to distinguish between them I would say infirmities would be weaknesses, things that you’re liable to, like allergies, and sicknesses would be actual diseases like cholera or diphtheria or influenza, whatever it might be.
But, you see, Matthew says that the healing ministry of Jesus was the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4–5. And he emphasizes that he healed every one. Why did he heal every one? Because he had taken or was going to take—but in the eternal counsel of God he had already taken—our sicknesses and borne our pains. You know that’s good news! I don’t see how people can hear that and believe it without getting excited. Maybe it will take a little while to sink in but it’s not only good news, it’s exciting news.
You see, if the church really believed that, evangelism would be pretty simple. Like suppose I suffer from corns which, thank God I don’t. Suppose I did. And I discovered a remedy that completely dispelled corns. I mean, I just forgot I ever had a corn. I see this poor dear old lady hobbling around with corns. You know, it would be almost inevitable that I would say, “Madam, do you know that there’s a remedy for corns? You don’t have to have those corns.” I wouldn’t have to be an evangelist. I’d just have to be a normal person. Isn’t that right? If we, not somebody else but we, [that includes me] if we were totally convinced of what I’m teaching we would evangelize.
Going to Pakistan was a revealing experience for me because it’s 98 percent Moslem country. And we got as many as 16,000 people out to meetings without much advertising. Why? Because we prayed for the sick. And they got healed. They got healed. Not all of them, only a few of them, but they really got healed. The blind saw, the deaf heard, the lame walked. Believe me, brothers and sisters, you don’t have a problem getting a crowd if you have that. There are plenty of other fine ways to attract people but the number one central method of the New Testament is miracles. And practically speaking, they cost nothing—in the natural. In the spiritual they cost a lot.
Let’s go on to 1Peter 2:24. Oh, I want you to notice before you do, Matthew 8:17, notice the quotation in the version that I’m reading:
Notice all the emphasis? Where is it? On he, that’s right.
And then we’ll go to 1Peter 2:24. This is speaking about Jesus. It’s one of these long sentences that the New Testament writers indulge in. Beginning at verse 23:
Who, when he was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered he did not threaten; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. Who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, having died to sin, might live for righteousness: by whose stripes [or wounds] you were healed.
Notice that? See, that’s both aspects. The spiritual, he bore our sins in his own body on the tree that we might be forgiven and he took our sicknesses and bore our pains that we might be healed. I tell you, brothers and sisters, some of you are responding and some of you are not. That’s not my problem. But you may need to renounce unbelief at some time. I know it’s not easy to believe. Believe me, I struggled in a hospital bed for months to the point where I really believed it.
It’s a strange thing. The critics of Jesus in his day never questioned that he could heal the sick. They did deny his claim to forgive sins. The church today, the evangelical church takes it for granted that people’s sins can be forgiven but stumbles over the fact that people can be healed. Which is harder? To forgive sins or to heal sickness? Which is the greater miracle? That our sins can be forgiven. There’s no miracle that transcends that.
You’ll find in previous centuries tremendously intelligent and dedicated and earnest men like John Wesley struggled for years to apprehend by faith the fact that their sins could be forgiven. Because today it is pretty generally taught, people take it for granted. They walk up and take it like helping themselves to a pill over the counter. It’s comical.
In John Wesley’s ministry in Cornwall, which is the extreme southwest county of England, there was a man, just a humble man who said that he knew his sins were forgiven. You know what they called him? A blasphemer. They press-ganged him into the British Navy to deal with him. See? Really it’s a subjective issue. It’s our attitude that determines how we’ll respond.
Again, I want you to notice in verse 24 of 1Peter 2 who what? Himself. Do you see that? All through the emphasis is on him. Brothers and sisters, there is no solution in ourselves. You can go on quoting doctors about your sickness as long as you please and feeling yourself here and there and everywhere else. But it’s not the solution. I am always amused at people who tell me they can’t memorize scripture. “Brother Prince, I just can’t memorize scripture.” But the same lady goes to the doctor, comes back and tells you verbatim everything the doctor said about her sickness. She memorizes what she believes.
Did we do this one on both hands? I don’t think we did. Now this time I’m to expect you to do it with me just by intuition. It’s the physical. He was wounded that we might be healed. He was wounded that we might be healed. Now I. He was wounded that I might be healed. Put your hand up in the air and say it. That’s you. Amen! Tell me, how much work did you have to put into getting your sins forgiven? None. How much work do you have to put into getting healed? None. It’s finished.
I have studied Greek since I was ten years old. The word that’s used in 1Peter 2:24, you were healed, is the normal Greek word for physical healing. And again, like the Hebrew words, it’s not changed its meaning. It still has the same meaning in modern Greek. From it comes the modern Greek word for a doctor iatros.
Christians sometimes say to me, “Brother Prince, how can I know if it’s God’s will to heal me?” And I usually answer something like this—and mind you, there’s lots of things I don’t know and lots of questions I can’t answer. It doesn’t embarrass me the least bit. But I say, “If I rightly understand the revelation of scripture, you’re asking the wrong question. It’s not how can I know if it’s God’s will to heal me, it’s how can I appropriate the healing which God has already provided for me.” You find that healing is never in the future tense when it refers to the atonement. Seven hundred years before it happened Isaiah said healing was obtained for us. And fifty years or so afterwards Peter said by whose wounds you were healed. It’s very emphatic. A simple past tense. It happened on the cross. It’s a fact of history. Whether we believe it or not it’s true. What we believe will affect us. We can’t change the facts of history, they’re already stated.
Let’s go on. I think we’ve got time to do the next one. Going back to Isaiah 53 and verse 10. Now, the last three verses of Isaiah 53 give the spiritual significance of what’s happened, the purpose of God which was accomplished.
“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him [to crush him]; he has put him to grief...”
And it’s the same word for sickness. Let’s not go into that but it’s the same word.
“...when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
It’s also possible to translate it “when his soul shall make an offering for sin.” It doesn’t make any difference to the bottom line which is Jesus’ soul was made an offering for sin. Jesus’ body bore our pains and sicknesses, but his soul was made the sin offering.
Now in order to understand the implication of that you have to be just aware of the procedure for the sin offering in the Old Covenant under the Levitical law. When a man sinned he had to bring the appropriate offering. It might be a sheep or a goat or a bullock. Incidentally, the more important the man, the bigger the offering. This always amuses me because if the high priest sinned he had to bring a bullock. And you know they didn’t keep the cattle next door to the tabernacle. So if the high priest sinned he had to go all the way out to where the cattle were kept and lead his bullock all the way up to the altar. And everybody must have thought, “Well, I wonder what Aaron did!”
Anyhow, when he arrived the priest laid his hands on the head of the offering and the man confessed his sin over the offering. And symbolically the sin of the man was transferred to the goat or the bullock or whatever. Then the goat or the bullock paid the penalty for the man’s sin. Instead of killing the man they killed the goat. So the sin offering was something to which the sin of the person was transferred so that the offering paid the penalty for the man’s sin. See the picture?
Jesus’ soul was made the sin offering. This is a staggering thought. I don’t believe we can even begin to comprehend what it meant for the soul of Jesus to be identified with the sin of the whole human race. That utterly pure and undefiled soul became identified with the sin of all humanity. He became the sin offering. Our sin was transferred to him and then he paid the penalty in our place. So his soul was made the sin offering. He was identified with our sins.
Now because of the fact that the word offering is used, a lot of contemporary Christians don’t appreciate what Isaiah is saying. The soul of Jesus became identified with our sins. But, if you keep your finger in Isaiah 53 and turn to 2Corinthians 5 and the last verse of the chapter which is verse 21, this is Paul’s rendering of Isaiah 53:10. If you don’t understand the terminology of the sin offering, you don’t recognize it. Paul is saying the same thing in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that Isaiah had said in Isaiah 53:10. Now I’ll read it the way it is, then put in the nouns in place of the pronouns.
For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
Let’s put in the pronouns.
God the Father made him, Jesus the Son, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
That is staggering! If you think it’s staggering that he took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses, this is infinitely more staggering. He was made sin with our sinfulness that we might become righteousness with his righteousness. What’s the exchange? Not a problem. You don’t have to be a theologian. In fact if you were a theologian you’d probably have problems. Now forgive me, Lord. I just get so impatient with people who make the Bible complicated. My whole aim in life is to make it simple. I may not succeed but at least that’s what I’m trying to do.
Now you theologians, come on and let’s see if we can do it without prior rehearsal, the left hand and the right. He was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with his righteousness. That was good to start with, now let’s do it again. He was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with his righteousness. If you’re not excited about that there’s something missing. Praise the Lord, I got one excited student here!
But now let’s do it individually. Not us but my. He was made sin with my sinfulness that I might be made righteous with his righteousness. Isn’t that wonderful!
Now let me just give you one very beautiful picture of this exchange which makes me excited. Isaiah 61:10. You’ll notice how many times we go to Isaiah. He is the prophet of salvation. Not that the other prophets don’t have the message of salvation but it’s his theme, especially these last 27 chapters. I read these words and I’m smiling, you wonder why I’m smiling. Because my mind goes back to my boyhood. I read here:
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God...
I always picture myself walking out of a typical English church which is at least 200 years old, it’s new. It’s rather cold and I’ve been in this Anglican service where we have been saying the most glorious things about God. I mean, the Anglican liturgy is just glorious. And then the people walk out of church and there isn’t any evidence whatever that they’re excited about anything. I always used to think to myself, “Now, if that lady in front of me dropped her lace handkerchief and I ran after her and gave her her handkerchief back she’d get much more excited about her handkerchief than about all the things she’d been saying in church.” Why? Because they’ve never been real to her. That’s not a criticism of the Anglican Church, it’s true of multitudes of churches. People have never grasped this glorious reality.
Now, if you grasp it you’re going to have to be happy—even if you don’t want to be happy you’re going to have to be happy. And let me point out to all of you dear Christians, it is no sin for a Christian to be happy.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God...
The Hebrew says ?sos asis bah adoni?. I just say that because there’s a beautiful new Hebrew song just been written by a Jewish believer in the last year that’s based on these words.
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation [you’re saved, wonderful, but don’t stop there], he has covered me with the robe of righteousness...”
Bear in mind that when you get the garment of salvation that’s an undergarment. But there’s a top garment that goes over it. What is that? The robe of righteousness. One other translation, I think it’s the NIV, says, “he has wrapped around with the robe of righteousness.” Whose righteousness? His righteousness. You see, you can never feel guilty after that. If you once realize that the devil has got nothing to say against you because no matter from what point he attacks you and criticizes you you say, “It’s all right. I’ve got the robe of Christ’s righteousness wrapped all around me, I’m covered on every side. There’s nothing you can say against me.” In fact, when the devil accuses you of all the silly things you’ve done and the wicked things, the Bible says agree with thy adversary. Tell him it’s quite true. Perfectly right. I can tell you a lot more things as a matter of fact! But it’s all in the past because he’s given me a garment of salvation and he’s wrapped me around with the robe of his spotless, divine, eternal righteousness.
You see, the righteousness of God has no past to be ashamed of. It’s incapable of guilt. It’s totally perfect and pure. And that’s what we’re offered through this exchange. I hope you begin to see that this exchange opens up to every area of your life, everything you really need. Everything you really long for. And more than you can imagine. It’s all contained in this divine exchange.
Let’s go very quickly to the three aspects that we’ve done. You may have to help me because I sometimes get confused when I’m on the platform. The first one is punished. The second is wounded. The third is sin. We’ll do we, our and us and so on to start with. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. Jesus was wounded that we might be healed. Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with his righteousness. Now what can you do after that? You have to say thank you, Lord. What else is there to say? Amen, thank you, Lord. Praise your name Lord Jesus.
We’ll continue with the various aspects of the exchange in our next session, God helping us.
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