Read: Isaiah 53:1-6
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way. (v. 6)
In his memoir A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson encounters a man whose sense of direction is hopelessly flawed. When they meet, Bryson points out that the man is miles off course from his intended destination. When they part, Bryson notes that the hapless hiker has, once again, set off in the wrong direction.
When sheep follow their own direction, they end up in trouble. They lose their balance on rough terrain, get tangled in thickets, and fall prey to predators. Isaiah laments for his wayward people. Since humanity’s original sin, our sense of direction has been hopelessly flawed. Our instincts lead us far from God’s presence and God’s will. The farther we stray from God, the greater our trouble. Life without God is death.
Isaiah spoke prophetically of one who would become a sacrificial stand-in for every wayward person. Our own flawed directions should separate us eternally from our Shepherd. However, he refused to abandon us to our own way. Instead, our Shepherd appointed a single lamb to suffer on behalf of the flock. This sacrificial lamb died the death everyone deserves. He purchased for us peace with God at the cost of his own life. The Lamb of God then turned and invited us to follow his way—the way that leads back to God. His sense of direction is flawless. Follow him and live. —Ben Van Arragon
As you pray, thank God for the Lamb who paid for our peace with his life.
About the Author
Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.