Tag Archives: Chose

What God Gave Up for Lent – Day 22

22. Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted


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)

In the midst of the great works of mercy and grace Christ does for you and me, this phrase reveals our thoughts, our intents and actions, which run contrary to what He is doing. Once again we see how broken we are: He bears our sins and carries our sorrows, and yet we have the arrogance and audacity to presume that He was smitten and afflicted by God?

We are indeed broken. I am reminded of the aphorism: No good deed goes unpunished.  There were those at the site of the cross who actually believed that Christ got what was coming to Him. That He deserved this sentence of death. These would be called the religious people, and even though the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Scribes of the Law are no longer personally with us, their mindset is alive and well.

The first time we saw the word esteemed, we calculated (remember it was an accounting word) that He was not worth calculating. In a sense we ignored Him. Like all sins though, they have an eroding and degenerative effect, thus our view of Him has deteriorated as well, for rather than estimating Him as One with no worth, He is now One Who has been found worthy of the evils that have been set upon Him. Therefore He is deserving of the following:

Stricken, smitten and afflicted.

Stricken is a very personal word and is often translated as touched. It requires personal contact. We first see this word is in Genesis 3:3—“But from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ It also incorporates the aspect of intent, being translated as some form of reach. It is also defined as to bear and defeated.

Smitten has much more violence associated with it. Here are some of other translations for it: attack, beat, destroy, killed, slay, struck down and wounded. We must note that the most violent of the three words here is directly credited to God’s action: smitten of God.

Afflicted is an action which results in being humbled or bowed down, forced, debased, and violated. This word ties easily into our pride, for pride exalts itself and debases all others around it. We have determined that Christ really is less than He says He is and on top of that, was deserving of whatever ill-treatment was given.

As horrific as these actions were we must acknowledge that, “Well, yes He was.” He was indeed smitten of God, as well as stricken of God and afflicted of God. But the fatal error we make is that these actions were taken because Christ was deserving of such, not because He chose to pay the price and accept the consequences.

I am reminded of the disciples’ question: As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” ( John 9:1-3)

It is far too easy to assign blame rather than seeing the works of God. Christ was not stricken, smitten and afflicted because He deserved it. Rather He was stricken, smitten and afflicted to display the works of God, indeed the greatest work of God: For God so loved the world… He was not stricken, smitten and afflicted because of His nature (which is our situation), but because of His choice. His choice to be the Lamb of God, and take your place on the cross.

Singing with the King (23) – Ends of the Earth

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. ( Psalm 98:3b)

You are Here

God could have done a quiet work of salvation, for He chose a small, even insignificant, people, in a remote part of the planet. They had many huge and notable empires nearby: Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, etc. But there was tiny Israel, always with another conqueror breezing through, and making them a (remote and inconsequential) part of an “intergalactic” empire. But one of the reasons God chose a small people was to ensure that they would never (try though they must) get the credit for their salvation. This was very much a God-thing, and could not be confused for anything else. So when All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God, they were seeing the salvation of our God.

Now the question needs to be asked: Why? If this was an “Israel only” to-do, why should all the earth see it.

Well, Israel may have been God’s Chosen people, but all earth’s peoples were made by Him—all had His image stamped upon them.

There were those who were aliens who would recognize that the God of Israel was indeed the Lord of all. In the context of this Psalm, it was because they had seen the salvation of our God.

The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. ( Leviticus 19:34)

So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:19)

God had spoken to Israel on many occasions, reminding them they were aliens; Perhaps the greatest thing about the New Covenant—all of us aliens can now draw close to the Lord God through the shed blood of Jesus.

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)

After all, We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)