20. He Himself
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)
As we mentioned a couple of days ago, griefs can also be translated as sickness and disease. So you could just as easily say that He bore our sickness, or He bore our disease. But we’re not talking about physical disease—we’re talking about the spiritual disease of sin; a disease which is completely and utterly fatal, both temporally and eternally.
I’m not a big fan of grammar, but the phrase He Himself, is called an intensive pronoun, which is used to emphasize the subject. In this case, Christ is the subject, and by emphasizing Him, we learn He alone was capable and worthy and had the sole authority—and chose—to bear our griefs. There neither is, was, nor will be, another. This phrase reveals the urgency, the necessity of what Christ Himself did, and only He could do. We know from Scripture that the blood of bulls and goats does not cut it: For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. ( Heb 10:4) It took the Lamb of God, it took God’s Son to bear our sins.
There are several meanings within the word bore that deserve consideration: to carry off, to take away, to forgive, and even to be swept away. So when Christ bore our sins to the cross it was not merely a matter of bearing our sins, but He carried them away, and took them to the grave with Him. Is there any doubt of how thoroughly involved God is in your life? He took the worst of you so that He could make the best of you.
This is the first of the substitutions: They were our griefs, but He is the One Who carried them.