The other day I slipped on the ice. Both feet went right out from under me, and I came down hard on my hip. I didn’t break anything, but you should have seen the bruise…it was the size of a grapefruit.
When Isaiah was describing the sacrifice of Christ in Isaiah 53, he used a number of striking words to highlight the severity of His death. For instance, in verse 5 he said that “He was bruised for our iniquities.” Now the idea of a bruise doesn’t seem so terrible. After all, it usually isn’t lethal. A bruised fruit is just fruit with a soft, discolored part. A bruise on your body is just a colored contusion that is black and blue. However, the word Isaiah used here means more than that.
The word “bruised” is the Hebrew word dakah, which means “to be broken or crushed.” In fact, the NAS version translates it that way: “He was crushed for our iniquities.” Actually, this word is used in an intensive, passive stem of the verb, suggesting violence received in the process.
Edward J. Young, the Hebrew scholar says, “Here the participle suggests the complete destruction of the person involved.” It is a violent word which conveys the idea that our Lord would be totally crushed and destroyed by our iniquities. This is pictured in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Gethsemane” is actually the word for the olive press, where the olives would be crushed between two huge stones. You see, that is more than a mere bruise.
As Jesus hung on the cross during those last three hours, the weight of the world’s sin, and the Father’s anger against that sin, crushed the sin-bearer until there was no more life in Him. “He was crushed for our iniquities.”
Say – the next time you take communion, and drink the juice or wine, think about what the grape had to go through, and you’ll have a picture of Jesus.