I have a brother who was wounded in the Viet Nam conflict. In fact, were it not for heroic action on the part of a number of people, he would never have lived. It’s a terrible thing to be wounded.
In Isaiah 53:5 Isaiah gives us special insight into our Lord’s death. He says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah uses a number of very specific words here to describe the nature of Messiah’s death.
For instance, the word for “wounded” refers to a particular type of wound. It is the Hebrew word chalal, which means “to pierce; to puncture.” In fact, that’s how the NAS version and the NIV translate it. “But He was ‘pierced through’ for our transgressions…”
Knowing the exact means of Christ’s death, we can look back at Isaiah’s prophecy and say, “that’s exactly how our Savior died.” He was “pierced through” – the thorns pierced through His brow as the soldiers mockingly crowned Him as king; the nails pierced through His hands and feet as He was nailed to the cross; the spear pierced through His side as the soldier sought to verify His death. The entire process involved piercing.
Isaiah was very specific when He used this word. “He was pierced through for our transgressions.” David was very specific, too, when he wrote about the crucifixion in Psalm 22:16, “They pierced my hands and my feet…” So was Zechariah, when he prophesied of the second coming of Christ in Zechariah 12:10: “They will look on me whom they have pierced…” Now, did you notice why He was pierced? Isaiah said it was “for our transgressions.” It was for our sins that He was pierced.
Say – the piercing wasn’t just a wound – it was a lethal wound. Jesus died in your place.