Isaiah 53:4-12 (NRSV)
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Verse 4Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. Verse 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. Verse 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Verse 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Verse 8By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. Verse 9They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Verse 10Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Verse 11Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Verse 12Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Whenever you go into the doctor’s office, they immediately ask you about your family’s health history. They know there is a direct connection between past trauma in your body and your body’s current level of health. This physiological phenomenon can also be said about our own country. On this Indigenous People’s Day, we have to confess the sin of our past in order to begin the process of healing. I am writing this on stolen land. The weight of that sinful history cannot be minimized. As creation sits in the waiting room longing for liberation, we are encountered by the Great Physician’s universe-altering words through the prophet: “He was wounded for our transgressions…by his bruises we are healed.” “This is my body,” our Lord says. This incarnational presence brings healing to our souls so that we may participate in God’s breach-repairing enterprise for the cosmos.
Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ (All Are Related). May we remember this reality in our daily lives. Amen.