24. Crushed and Humiliated
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)
The Hebrew word for crushed has several renderings: break, broken, beat, bruised, destroy, oppressed and smitten. But twice the word has to do with attitude rather than action: it portrays one being contrite. Another meaning for contrite is humbled, and not only being humble but being made humble. If one is crushed, then you could say that one has not only been humbled, but humiliated.
We learn in the New Testament this humbling was an act Christ did Himself: Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ( Philippians 2:6-8)
Note the two distinct and intentional acts that Christ takes: Emptied Himself; humbled Himself.
Emptied here means to lay aside, but it also means to be drained or deserted. It also can mean being made null and void. What does it mean to become empty? Here was Jesus, Who had eternally existed as God, One of the Trinity in the Godhead, and He emptied Himself. Now we know that He did not drain Himself of all deified attributes: He still had power to heal, to raise from the dead, to forgive sins, set aside physical laws, know the thoughts and hearts of those around Him, etc. But He laid aside, He emptied Himself of the position and privilege of being God so that He could walk among us as man, and not just a man, but a bond-servant.
From purely a point of comparison, He did indeed go from all to nothing. And He calls us to the same all or nothing (albeit only on a limited, finite, human level).
As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up. Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. ( Mark 10:21-22)
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. ( Mark 12:30)
If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26-27)
So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. (Luke 14:33)
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. ( Gal 2:20)
And for those who still cling to broken and false thinking, we do believe He really is nothing, devoid of worth and nothing for us to even bother about. But for those who believe such, you cannot and do not understand what really has taken place, what kind of sacrifice was made, nor are you able to count the cost.
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Certainly there are things that we do understand, specifically for those of us who have been given new hearts and the mind of Christ. But even with our sanctified understanding, there are distances that cannot be crossed because we would just be overwhelmed. We can never truly understand how much Christ gave up, how much He surrendered, how much it cost Him. Yet this should not frustrate us; rather it should be a matter of wonder, awe, and praise. Revel in the mystery, wonder at the immeasurable, and stare at the infinite and be lost in worship and praise.
Iniquities in the Hebrew also means guilt and punishment. Irony abounds here: He was punished for our punishment; He was pronounced guilty for our guilt.
This is the fourth of the substitutions: For our iniquities, our guilt, and our punishment, He was crushed.