All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned, each of us, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.Isaiah 53:6(ISV)
Sheep are fascinating animals, and studying their characteristics, it is easy to see why the Lord used them in His word pictures and parables, and how their behaviour can mimic ours. Sheep are timid, easily panicked, more comfortable in a flock, have no means of self-defence, extremely helpless, and need the most care of all livestock - completely reliant on the shepherd caring for them. They are also known to be dim-witted, empty-headed, and gullible and it is these qualities that are referenced in this verse where we, who are the sheep of His pasture, have gone astray, stupidly going our own way.
How quick we are to lust after manipulative false teachers and follow the deceptive doctrines of demons. How easily we simply stray from the path of truth, and unwittingly wander into the way of ruthless wolves in sheep's clothing or foolishly fall into the manifold dangers that litter our path. No wonder the term 'sheeple' has been universally adopted to describe such gullible creatures as we are.
But God is so gracious and His mercy is without limits, which is why He planned in advance to save us all from all our sin by implementing the only possible way to forgive every sin we ever commit – past, present, and future sins; overt and covert sins; action and attitude sins. ALL the sins of the entire human race, along with our twisted and corrupt inherited sin-nature – ALL forgiven.
God is so gracious that He devised a plan that would demonstrate His own deep love for ALL mankind, without compromising His own pure, righteous justice so that instead of the wrath of God being justly poured out over the heads of all sinners, He would give His only begotten Son as the only possible perfect Sin Offering to pay the price of the sins of the whole world: "And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Every part of the plan of salvation is by grace. By GRACE. By God's free, unmerited, gracious favour.
ALL have sinned and need a Saviour, and ALL have access to this incredible free gift of God's glorious grace. Those who on their own free volition choose not to believe in the only begotten Son of God will be judged. NOT for their sin – for the price of their sin was paid for at Calvary: "For the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of them ALL." They will be judged on their works, which all fall short of God's glory, and consequently they will remain under God's condemnation forever, because they did not believe on the only begotten Son of God.
But those who believe that "the LORD has laid on HIM the iniquity of us all," are not only forgiven forever and given eternal life, but the Lord has laid on US the unsearchable riches of His grace and clothed us in His robe of righteousness.
May we, like sheep who know the voice of their shepherd and stay close to him, know the voice of our Shepherd. May we choose to stay close to Him all the days of our lives, not going astray, tempted by the empty, glittering, hollow trinkets of the world, but walk in His way, to His glory and our eternal benefit.
Thank You, my loving, gracious, Heavenly Father, that you laid on the Lord Jesus Christ all my sins, and poured out Your wrath on the dearly beloved Son of Your love so that my sins are forgiven and I have been clothed in His righteousness. I praise Your wonderful name, AMEN.