We have gone astray.
“All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him” (Isaiah 53:6).
We have gone astray. We walked in misguided actions with misguided perspectives, values, and thoughts, each going our own way.
Our misguided perspective is failing to see the beauty of Jesus (Isa. 53:2). In other words, our distorted perspective prevents us from recognizing the beauty of Jesus, who obediently went to the cross to fulfill the will of God the Father. We do not feel attracted to Jesus' obedience. Consequently, we disobey the Lord. When we look at obedience from the viewpoint of our disobedience, we can only fail to see the beauty of obedience. Our misguided perspective can be better understood when we think about the statement that Eve saw the fruit as good for food, even though it was not good for food (Gen. 3:6). Clearly, when viewed from the perspective of obedience, the fruit was not good for food, but from Eve's perspective, it seemed good (Gen. 3:6). We can see that her heart was tainted with the filth of disobedience. She was enticed by the lust of the eyes (1 Jn. 2:16) and ultimately committed the sin of disobedience to God's command.
We hold misguided values. This misguided value is failing to esteem Jesus (Isa. 53:3). The reason we do not esteem Jesus is because we dislike sorrow and affliction. Jesus endured much suffering. In other words, Jesus was a man of sorrows. Furthermore, Jesus knew what it was to be afflicted. He was familiar with suffering. However, we are not accustomed to affliction. We turn our faces away from it because we dislike sorrow and affliction. The reason is that we are accustomed to joy, happiness, comfort, and peace. Therefore, we do not hold Jesus in high regard; instead, we dislike and even despise Him. Our misguided values are influenced by the lusts of the flesh. Just as Eve not only saw the fruit as good for food but also desired it, we, in our distorted perspective, not only view many things in the world as desirable but also desire them, thus disobeying God's command. The reason is the lust of the flesh within us. The lust of the flesh leads us to forsake eternal values and instead choose momentary ones. It prevents us from distinguishing what is truly valuable from what is trivial. As a result, the lust of the flesh causes us to consume vain things, desiring them as good for food, and thus leads us to sin against God.
We have misguided thoughts (v. 4). Our misguided thoughts lead us to believe that despite Jesus enduring suffering due to our transgressions and iniquities (v. 5), we think He suffered and received punishment from God, and endured suffering for our wrongdoings (v. 4). Clearly, Jesus experienced our afflictions and sorrows (v. 4) because of our transgressions and iniquities. However, we mistakenly believe that He was crucified on the accursed tree, the cross, receiving punishment from God, and died, claiming Himself to be the Son of God, and committing the sin of desecrating the temple. Clearly, His suffering was due to our transgressions and iniquities. The root of our misguided thoughts is pride. Pride skews our thinking. It makes us consider ourselves wise. Therefore, Eve not only saw the fruit as good for food, desired it, and even found it appealing enough to make her wise. This is what the apostle John refers to as the "boasting of life" (1 Jn. 2:16). This did not originate from God, but from following the ways of the world (v. 16). Thus, the boasting of life leads us to have misguided thoughts, causing us to sin against God.
When we were living with misguided perspectives, distorted values, and erroneous thoughts, each of us was walking in our own sinful ways. At that time, God made Jesus bear all our sinful iniquities (Isa. 53:6). Just like us, sinful people, with all our wrongdoings, He endured suffering. How should we respond as we come to understand this grace of our Lord? We should lead a life of faith with correct perspectives. We must forsake our worldly outlook and live with God's viewpoint. We should emulate the beauty of Jesus, obeying the Lord just as He obeyed. Additionally, we should uphold proper values in our life of faith. Discarding momentary and futile values, we must embrace eternal ones. Moreover, we should live diligently for things of eternal significance. We need to hold right thoughts and practice a righteous life of faith. We must be vigilant in guarding our hearts against any infiltrating prideful thoughts. We should pursue biblical thinking, seeking to live in alignment with how God perceives things. Thus, just as God's will is accomplished in heaven, it should also be realized on earth through us.
Pursuing God's perspective, eternal values, and biblical thinking,
(With a prayer for a faith life that is both righteous and balanced)