Day 37: Pierced
“He was pierced for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5).
“They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child” (Zechariah 12:10).
“Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear…these things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled…”; “They will look on the One they have pierced” (John 19:34, 36-37).
There are several Scriptures in the Old Testament which refer to the piercings of the crucifixion. Psalm 22:16b indicates that they pierced the hands and feet. Zechariah foretells of the nation of Israel look on Jesus, “the One they have pierced.” And, of course, we have the Isaiah verse which explains that He was pierced for us. In his continuous endeavor to show us how many prophecies were fulfilled, John refers back to the Zechariah verse.
As we said before, what is stunning is when David and the prophets wrote of this, crucifixion had yet to be invented—not for hundreds of years! Yet in word after word, we see how closely they parallel what Jesus experienced.
Think about how sensitive our hands and feet are. The nerve endings are quite close together by design, because of all that the hands and feet are meant to tell us about our environment. Even, if some believe, the piercing of the “hand” was more in the region of the wrist, this, too, is a very sensitive area. To have these nails—more like thick spikes—driven into them, and then the weight of His body suspended from those wounds, the agony would be beyond what we can even imagine.
The Isaiah verse uses “two of the strongest words in the Hebrew language to describe a violent and painful death. ‘Pierce’ conveys the ides of ‘pierced through, or wounded to death’” (John MacArthur). While Jesus was already dead when the spear pierced His side, the continued violence done to His body is a reminder of His willingness to bear this all for us.
Those of us who have realized our need for a Savior and have recognized Jesus as that One and only way to be saved, have looked on Him whom we have pierced. We have recognized that it was our sin He carried to the cross, our punishing pain He endured in our stead. And, because He had shown repeatedly that His words are true, we know that one day His people, Israel, will look on the One they pierced and repent and believe, as well.
• During this devotional you have been looking on the One you have pierced because of your sins. What have you seen that is different from your past glimpses?
Lord, as I gaze upon You, help me to be pierced in my heart over my sin, and help me to adore You for bearing my transgressions and my piercing.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
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