Sometimes the process of ministry includes a specific direction from the Lord to look up scripture. Here is one such passage. Isaiah 53:4-5:
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
A friend shared with me that the Lord prompted her to look specifically at the word “iniquities” in these verses and when she looked up that word, here is what she found:
“Iniquity: gross injustice, wicked immorality, an act that inflicts undeserved hurt, applies to any act that involves unfairness to another or violation of his rights, sometimes accompanied by a denial of any wrongdoing.”
She was intrigued by this definition and asked the Lord why He had her look it up. He asked what the definition brought to mind and, as she recalled the trauma of her childhood, she told Him, “all the undeserved hurt that was inflicted on me, all the unfairness I suffered and the violation of my rights as a child and a person, all the things I had taken from me to which I had a right.” When she was done she looked to Him and heard Him simply say, “I died for that, too.”
One of, if not the primary message of the crucifixion is that you and I have sinned, transgressed, committed iniquity (and all the other twelve words the New Testament uses for sin) and are desperately in need of a Savior. And Isaiah tells us that a suffering servant would be pierced for those transgressions and iniquities and by His affliction, crushing, and wounds would bring peace with the Father and healing of our hopeless condition.
But the Lord had this young lady consider another aspect of the Cross. He was also crushed for the iniquities of those who had offended her. He took all the burden for what those people had done to her with Him to the Cross. It did not matter whether they acknowledged and accepted that or not; the debt had been totally paid already. She realized in that moment that she had been quite willing to accept His sacrifice of love for her own sin; however, she had resisted accepting His sacrifice for the undeserved hurt to her because, if she accepted that He had already dealt with that, she would have to release the resentment she so tightly gripped.
Jesus has provided everything we need to live in complete freedom. The burden of my own sin was placed on Him and I do not need to carry that anymore. And the burden of the sin that was inflicted upon me was placed on Him, also, and I do not need to carry that, either. What a wonderful time of year this would be to fully acknowledge what He did on the cross and choose to release the hatred, anger, bitterness and resentment we may carry towards others for which He already died.