23rd December

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. 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.

Isaiah 53:5-6 (NLT):

Many years ago I remember being in a Christian book shop, looking to spend a voucher that I received for essentially turning up to Sunday School each week. Not many of us read for fun and unlike some of my peers, I didn’t want to use my voucher on heart shaped erasers with ‘Jesus loves you’ printed on them. I saw an album that showed 4 angels fighting with the devil on the cover. I didn’t know would it would sound like, but immediately knew what my voucher would be spent on…

Next to the band name was a Bible verse; Isaiah 53:5 and this band had taken their name from this verse. I looked up the verse and realised this referred to a prophecy about Jesus. I remember that verse hitting hard and the impact further intensified with the verse that followed, that despite humanities rebellion and self-interest, Jesus took our place and took the blame for our bad deeds.

Christmas is when we celebrate the coming of the saviour and Easter is when we celebrate the saviour’s sacrifice for us and his victory over death, giving us the opportunity to be reconciled with God. Thank You God for Your love for us and for sending Your son, thank You Jesus for your sacrifice and friendship, thank You Holy Spirit for the wisdom, counsel and comfort You bestow upon us. Amen.

Written by David Cookson.