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Lots of homes these days have manger scenes with the baby Jesus wrapped in…lights. But there’s probably an image you won’t see this “holiday” season, one that’s from the Bible.

“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces. He was despised, and we esteemed him not.Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

These words were spoken of by the prophet, Isaiah, hundreds of years before Jesus.

Jesus was betrayed by one of his friends. Has that ever happened to you? He was captured and subjected to several trials, some of which were illegal. During this time, men pulled out His beard, spat on Him, beat Him and struck Him on the head with their staffs. After this, he was whipped until His flesh was ripped away, exposing bone and muscle. Then He was nailed to a post of wood to endure one of the most excruciating deaths ever devised by mankind, a punishment that almost no one on earth would agree should be inflicted on a person. While He hung on this cross, exposed and naked for all to see, He was mocked and reviled by the lowest kind of individual in society at that time.

Why did He do this? Because He willingly chose this path. No one forced it upon Him. He did this because He wanted us to know the Father.We cannot approach Him with our own rightness, because that rightness just isn’t good enough to come before One so pure as He. In addition, we have ignored Him, the Creator who gives us our very breath. We have been, too often, thankless. We have been rebellious—throughout out lives—against Him and broken His righteous laws.

Jesus took all that “unrightness” upon Himself that day, so that when we approach the Father, He sees not our unrightness, but the rightness of Jesus.

I don’t know if this means anything to you or not. For my part, I honor Him for making the choice to do this for me, who didn’t deserve anyone—especially God Himself—to die for me.

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