Say, can you imagine being punished by God? It’s bad enough being punished by your parents – but by God Himself, well, that’s another matter! The Bible says “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
In Isaiah’s Song of the Suffering Servant, he refers to the fact that it is actually God Himself that is inflicting the punishment. In Isaiah 53:4, he says, “Surely, our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” It was assumed that Jesus’ suffering was the result of being “smitten of God.” Literally, the text says, “struck by God.”
The word for “God” here is Elohim – the Creator of the universe. Elohim struck Him. Elohim plagued and afflicted Him. This was Elohim’s work. That’s why He’s suffering.
Actually, the word “pain” comes from the Latin – poena, which means “penalty; punishment.” You see, the original idea of pain was that if you suffer pain, then you’ve done something wrong. It’s punishment – a penalty. Now that’s not always the case, but it was Israel’s consideration of Jesus. The Jews called him “Poshe,” which means transgressor. The Talmud links Him with Titus and Baalam in hell. Today, the majority of Jews regard Him with the words of a criminal – “the hanged one.” So do most Gentiles, if they consider Him at all. Now the important thing to notice is that all of this is true – but not for His own sin. It was because He bore our griefs and our sorrows. He was smitten of God for our sin.
Say – think about it! Jesus endured God’s wrath against sin – for us! Wow! What a relief.