Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Atonement and Isaiah

Isaiah 49:6 says:
He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;I will also make You a light of the nations, so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
Genesis 1:3 could be translated, "And God said, 'Let Him be Light, and He was Light".

I need to do a little more research, but Isaiah 53 should be translated something like "he was wounded by (not for) our transgressions, he was bruised by (not for) our iniquities, the covenant bond of our peace (exemption from war and chaos) was his responsibility, by his joining us together we are healed."

The servant poured out his blood to the people so that they would be healed. By absorbing the conflict of the community, the servant prevents further violence. The community can unite around the scourging of the servant. He pours out his blood so that the blood of others will not be shed. He is a substitute for the community. Without him the community would continue to fight and bruise each other. He renews the covenant bond of the community. He is the one who keeps them from disintegrating. His blood is life. The people cry out let his blood be upon us. His blood gives the community life. Because the people the people in the community do not love each other and commit idolatry, the servant is bruised in a very real way by the sins of the community. The sins are often shaped as stones, or in our case bombs and bullets. God doesn't want anyone to perish, so his servant, the one who takes seriously his commandments, takes upon himself the sins of the others. He refuses to lay his sins on someone else, he will not fight back, he is a lamb at the slaughter. By the transgressions of the people he was stricken. He had done no violence, and no deceit was in his mouth. He interceded for the transgressors, he stood between them and let them use him as a substitute for each other. Kill me instead of each other.

Matthew 16-17:
16When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: 17That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Margaret Barker, Atonement: The Rite of Healing.
Raymund Schwager, The Suffering Servant
Excerpt from James Williams
Gil Bailie, Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (re Isaiah)

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