• Stephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC

Easter Meditation


“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.”


Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)



Today we are three days from Good Friday.


Growing up, my family typically went to church on Good Friday to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made and to prepare our hearts for the celebration on Easter morning. Many churches still follow this tradition, but many do not. Therefore, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to begin centering our hearts whether we go to church or not.

The verse above from Isaiah 53 is a traditional passage read at most Good Friday services and the perfect verse on which we should focus.


I want to encourage you to read the verse out loud as we did last month. Remember, this engages your brain on many different levels. As last time, I also want you to focus on which words stand out to you and speak to your heart.


Ok, let’s get started (remember, out loud)…


“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.”

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)


Again…


“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.”

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)


Now stop for a moment and close your eyes. Which words keep speaking to your heart? Sit with this for a few moments.


Ok, now let me switch it up a bit and have you read the same verse out loud, but this time from the Voice translation. I personally found myself more engulfed in the sacrifice and love of my Lord when I saw the different wording used in this translation.


Ok, again (out loud)…


“But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so. Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him. He endured the breaking that made us whole. The injuries he suffered became our healing."

Isaiah 53:5 (The Voice)


Last time…


“But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so. Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him. He endured the breaking that made us whole. The injuries he suffered became our healing.”

Isaiah 53:5 (The Voice)


If it helps, close your eyes again. What words are standing out?


For me, I found the verse from the NIV translation to be beautiful and elegant, but also too familiar and the language very distant from my everyday life. When I read, “he was pierced for our transgressions,” I understand what it means, but when I read in The Voice, “he was hurt because of us,” I wanted to cry. I don’t want to think of anyone being “hurt” because of me, but my Lord was, for me.


I also felt the same way as I read the words, “crushed for our iniquities.” Again, I know what it means, but when I read, “our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him,” I once again felt so sad about my sin and grateful for his loving sacrifice. He indeed endured so much for someone so broken, and yet his sacrifice is what has brought peace and made me whole.


Never has anyone loved me so extravagantly!


What about you? Spend some more time meditating on these verses and see what God may reveal to you. If you’re willing, share your thoughts in a comment so that together we may encourage one another by the ways God has extended his love to each one of us.


May the extravagant sacrifice of Jesus draw you closer to his heart this Easter and remind you how deeply you are loved.

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