Christianity 201

January 27, 2011

The Chastisement Of Our Peace


He was wounded for our transgressions.

Those words, from the KJV of Isaiah 53:5 are probably among the scripture verses most known by heart.

By his stripes we are healed.

If you grew up Pentecostal or Charismatic, there is no escaping teaching on that part of the verse; no escaping the connect-the-dots between the scourging Christ suffered and the healing that is available to us today, in the 21st century.

But what about the third of the four clauses in that verse?  Here’s the whole verse in the new NIV:

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, in this Messianic prophecy is saying that Christ’s suffering has brought us forgiveness for our transgressions and iniquities as well as (if you’re not dispensationalist) healing of mind and body.

But there it is, in the second-to-last, a reference to peace.

I mention all this because of a post I did this morning at Thinking Out Loud, where a U.S. pastor had his congregation complete an index card indicating the trials they were facing and the burdens they were carrying.  If Isaiah 53 applies, then it must apply to the point of bringing peace to the very doubts, anxieties, fears, angers, jealousies, anger, pride, insecurities, addictions, pain, disappointments, attitudes… and everything else that people mentioned on those little 3-by-5 cards.

First, let’s do some translation hopping:

  • He took the punishment, and that made us whole (Message)
  • The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him (NASB)
  • the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him (Amplified)
  • He was beaten so we could be whole.  (NLT)
  • The punishment which gives us the peace has fallen on him (tr. of French – Louis Segond)

Clearly, the intent of this verse is that our peace is part of the finished work of Christ on the cross.

The New International Bible Commentary says:

Peace and healing view sin in terms of the estrangement from God and the marring of sinners themselves that it causes.

The ESV Study Bible notes on this verse concur:

His sufferings went to the root of all human vice.

Lack of peace as sin?  Worry and anxiety as sin?  That’s what both of these commentators seem to say.

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary makes clear however that the peace that is brought is a general well-being, not simply addressing the consequences of sin.

But in the Evangelical Bible Commentary, something else is suggested, that the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 is bringing a peace that represents the restoration between God and man.

Many of the other commentaries and study Bibles I own do not directly address this phrase.  A broader study of the chapter reveals a Messiah suffering for all of the burdens we bear, such as the ones listed above in the pastor’s survey.  (“Oh, what peace we often forfeit; oh, what needless pain we bear…”)

I’d be interested if any of you can find any blog posts or online articles where this particular phrase is addressed apart from the wider consideration of the verse as a whole.

At this point, let’s conclude by saying that the finished work of Christ on the cross is sufficient for all manner of needs we face; all types of burdens we carry.

 

7 Comments »

  1. The word is chastisement, not punishment :) that is the problem. Chastisement means “driving to be chaste”, which can happen by encouragement, discipleship or discipline (training not punishment), rebuke, etc. It does not mean paying by being punished. Read Hebrews 12. It talks about our chastisement. If we were punished after being saved, then are we saved?? “There is now therefore NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. We may be rebuked, exhorted, discipled and encouraged to be chaste in many ways. But punishment would nullify the covering of blood through grace. :)

    Comment by Peter Trast — January 20, 2013 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

    • Peter, this is the best definition and interpretation that I have ever read concerning Isaiah 53:5. God spoke this scripture to me this morning. I ran a few references but still didn’t get quite get it. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Thank you; thank you; thank you!

      Comment by PJ — December 5, 2013 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

    • Peter the part that set me free was your comment on definition of chastisement — “training not punishment” — which coincides with I John 4:18 (amplified) “fear brings the thought of punishment

      There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

      Many serve God out of fear and not love! The devil is slick! He wanted me to believe that I was serving a cruel God that didn’t love me! Thank God for His grace. It is sufficient for us!

      Comment by PJ — December 5, 2013 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

  2. Seeking God and his many mysteries brought me here by way of the meaning of “the chastisements of our peace” and what its fullness is for me as a believer is now understandable. Thank you for the beginning clarity. Be blessed, Rachel H

    Comment by Rachel Hestmark — July 5, 2014 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  3. Thank you so much for explaining this sentence. I have been wondering about what it means: the chastisement of our peace was upon him. What the french gentleman said caught my eye: the punishment which gives us the peace has fallen on him. I think the tense is wrong. I think it should read the punishment which gives us the peace was fallen on him, otherwise it seems as though the punishment is still on Jesus but He said “It is finished” and gave up His ghost. And so, we can be in peace :-) Thank you again.

    Comment by Sonika — March 10, 2017 @ 3:24 am | Reply

  4. This made my understandings clear.

    Comment by Bessie pevey — April 7, 2018 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  5. Awesome description !!

    Comment by Renee Godsey — May 28, 2018 @ 12:30 pm | Reply


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