That’s how I described myself when I was in high school. Unremarkable. A gawky-looking, average student who excelled at just one thing… trombone. I was good enough to be selected for the All-State Band, but beyond that, I was just average. By no means was I a superhero. Jesus, on the other hand, was the Messiah. The most amazing superhero the world has ever known. He healed people, brought them back to life, restored their sight, and performed many other miracles. At the end of his time on earth, he died on a cross, was buried, and came back to life. Very “superhero-like.” I was reading about the punishment he endured before he was crucified. What was he like in real life? The Old Testament book of Isaiah says a lot about him.
“… the servant (Jesus) grew up obeying the Lord. He wasn’t some handsome king. Nothing about the way he looked made him attractive to us.
He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering.
(On the cross,) his appearance was disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, “He is a nobody!”
The average Jewish man in the first century was between 5’1″ and 5’5″ and weighed 110–120 pounds. My 12-year-old grandson is bigger than Jesus was. That doesn’t exactly fit the description of what we want our heroes to look like. He’s not dashing, kingly, powerful, cocky, or reckless. He doesn’t dress the part and wear battle armor or stately robes, and he definitely doesn’t possess any special physical attributes, We want a real superhero. Instead, we get a little guy in a tunic.
But he is the son of God, and he died because of “our condition.” It had nothing to do with him. He didn’t deserve death, we did. He is flogged and beaten to the point where he is unrecognizable. Then he is nailed to a cross because of you. You are responsible for his pain and suffering.
“But he endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought his suffering was punishment sent by God.
Because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received.
All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the LORD made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved.
He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly; he never said a word. Like a lamb about to be slaughtered, like a sheep about to be sheared, he never said a word.
Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush Him and to cause Him to suffer…My devoted servant (Jesus), with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for his sake I will forgive them.”
Jesus became the sacrifice for the sins of all people. That includes those alive at that time and everyone who will live in the future. And he didn’t deserve it. We did.
Why God would do that to his own son? It was because of our sin, man’s cruelty to man, and God’s wrath toward sin. He did it so we wouldn’t have to endure the consequences of our sins.
Pick your superheroes carefully. One of them determines your eternity.