Trading Places

Isaiah 53:4-6

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Yesterday, November 18th, I took our son, Jed, for his regularly scheduled check-up at Sick Kids Hospital for his asthma. He has been battling severe asthma since he was 6 months old.  He’s had very horrific attacks since then – at one point we thought we would lose him to his illness.  He has been asthma-free and medication-free for over a year now, and the doctor feels that he is well on his way to total healing.  Thank God for that.

When he was 2 years old, he was hospitalized for a week due to a severe episode. Endless tubes ran through his body to provide him the sustenance and medication he needed. Oxygen was fed through his nostrils as his small, fragile frame tried so hard to gasp for every particle of air he can get.

Needless to say, our son fought for his life. My heart broke for my son as I sat by his bedside watching his body quiver and fidget from his short, shallow breathing.  As I sat there, I remember crying out to the Lord to take me over my son; that I would take his place if it meant that he would survive this ordeal.

I’m not so certain that God honours such prayer, but for the very first time in my life, I caught a very obscured glimpse of God’s love for us. His heart broke so much for the pain and suffering that our sinful actions have brought us that it drove Him to give His One and Only Son to die on the cross where we should have been instead. Jesus Christ essentially traded places with us.

Our son came out of that hospital and over that ordeal a brand new boy; healed and strengthened by the Lord. I did not have to take his place because I had forgotten that Jesus already did – “by His wounds we are healed”.

As we go through each difficult trial in our lives, remember that God, through Jesus Christ, has already walked that path for us.  But such confidence and assurance can only come if we recognize what He has done for us, that we are sinful and need to be forgiven, that He needs to come and take command as Master and Lord of our lives.

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