What is the difference between Christianity and the false religions of the world? Is it the doctrine of the trinity? No. Is it the doctrine of the divine/human nature of the Son? No. Is is that God is a Spirit? No. Is it the fact that our souls will live somewhere forever? No. Is it our offering ourselves as sacrifices to God? No. All of these things can be found, in some form, in other religions and regions of the world. But there is one thing which is only found in Christianity. Every other worship or religion show men offering to God; but in Christ we have the amazing truth of God offering to man. The prophet here tells us that the Lord has prepared a sacrifice. That is something completely and totally novel in the faiths of the world. All of the nations have taught the bringing of their sacrifices to their gods, but here the One True God brings His sacrifice to them.
Imagine a state or nation in which the law of the land requires the injured to pay. Imagine a society in which the man who has been assaulted has to make restitution for any damages done – to in essence make a sacrifice for the fault of another. You say, “That’s not right!” And yet that is the way it is in God’s economy.
Indeed, with all of our talk about the sacrifice that waits on sin, we find that it is the sinless who pay. It’s not on the guilty party that the deepest sacrifice falls, even where the guilty are punished. It is always the innocent who suffer the most. One of the Psalmists cries out, “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.” It is the cry of every good father at the moment his son’s disgrace. It says, “I am the real victim; it’s on me that the actual penalty falls.” Sin’s victim is ever the purest. It’s the lamb without spot that suffers. When you pierce the guilty, it is another heart that bleeds. When you smite the sinner, it is another voice that weeps. When you sentence the man of crime, it is another soul that is burdened with sorrow. The sins against love are carried by the loving.
“Lord, if there had been another love like yours, then there would have been another suffering like You; but there was none – could be none; that’s why you have walked through the winepress alone. Mine was the guilt – yours was the pain. You bled where I didn’t even blush. You grieved when I didn’t even groan. You sorrowed where I haven’t sighed. Works that didn’t break my rest broke Your heart. Memories that have caused me no care, brought You the cross. You paid it all – and are paying it still. You pay the price for our sins. You heal those we hurt. You cleanse those we stain. You give light to those we have darkened. You receive those we shun. You use those we have rejected. Mine is the sin, but Yours is the sacrifice. Thank you so very much.”