All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
How many times have you heard someone say something like, “I’m not a bad person—I’ve never murdered anyone or anything like that,” or, “I believe most people are good at heart”? Doesn’t that make God’s grace an exception and man’s goodness the rule? Doesn’t it strip divine mercy of any meaning? Now, I’m not saying we should run around whipping ourselves or calling ourselves worms or seeing utter depravity every time we look in the mirror, but we should take seriously the fact that sin is an all-too-human condition, and it’s a chronic one. So if I don’t recognize that the tide of my impulse is leading me away from Heaven’s shoreline, if I can’t feel the tension between my spirit’s pursuit of God and my flesh’s magnetic attachment to earth, then I’ll keep treating grace as status quo, and Christ’s sacrifice as irrelevant, and heaven as my natural habitat.
No, the incredible truth of Isaiah 53:6 isn’t that I’ve gone astray. That’s obvious. The incredible truth is what comes next: that God has laid my iniquities on Himself.