Isaiah 53

I opened my Bible to Isaiah 53 this morning, read the familiar chapter as though I had laid eyes upon it for the first time, and cried. Tears of joy.

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

We were all of us undeserving, and even the most innocent of us owed a debt that could not be paid. Yet He descended, He suffered, and He died to pay it for us, to justify us freely, to clean us spotless by His blood.

Thank you, Jesus. Though this secularized world may find those words corny and trite, I cannot say it or mean it enough: thank you, Jesus.


  1. F.N. says:

    “Christianity is called the religion of pity.– Pity stands in opposition to all the tonic passions that augment the energy of the feeling of aliveness: it is a depressant. A man loses power when he pities. Through pity that drain upon strength which suffering works is multiplied a thousandfold. Suffering is made contagious by pity; under certain circumstances it may lead to a total sacrifice of life and living energy–a loss out of all proportion to the magnitude of the cause (–the case of the death of the Nazarene). This is the first view of it; there is, however, a still more important one. If one measures the effects of pity by the gravity of the reactions it sets up, its character as a menace to life appears in a much clearer light. Pity thwarts the whole law of evolution, which is the law of natural selection. It preserves whatever is ripe for destruction; it fights on the side of those disinherited and condemned by life; by maintaining life in so many of the botched of all kinds, it gives life itself a gloomy and dubious aspect. Mankind has ventured to call pity a virtue (–in every superior moral system it appears as a weakness–); going still further, it has been called the virtue, the source and foundation of all other virtues–but let us always bear in mind that this was from the standpoint of a philosophy that was nihilistic, and upon whose shield the denial of life was inscribed. Schopenhauer was right in this: that by means of pity life is denied, and made worthy of denial–pity is the technic of nihilism. Let me repeat: this depressing and contagious instinct stands against all those instincts which work for the preservation and enhancement of life: in the role of protector of the miserable, it is a prime agent in the promotion of decadence–pity persuades to extinction….Of course, one doesn’t say “extinction”: one says “the other world,” or “God,” or “the true life,” or Nirvana, salvation, blessedness…. This innocent rhetoric, from the realm of religious-ethical balderdash, appears a good deal less innocent when one reflects upon the tendency that it conceals beneath sublime words: the tendency to destroy life. Schopenhauer was hostile to life: that is why pity appeared to him as a virtue. . . . Aristotle, as every one knows, saw in pity a sickly and dangerous state of mind, the remedy for which was an occasional purgative: he regarded tragedy as that purgative. The instinct of life should prompt us to seek some means of puncturing any such pathological and dangerous accumulation of pity as that appearing in Schopenhauer’s case (and also, alack, in that of our whole literary decadence, from St. Petersburg to Paris, from Tolstoi to Wagner), that it may burst and be discharged. . . Nothing is more unhealthy, amid all our unhealthy modernism, than Christian pity. To be the doctors here, to be unmerciful here, to wield the knife here–all this is our business, all this is our sort of humanity, by this sign we are philosophers, we Hyperboreans !– ”

  2. Paulo says:

    Thank you for indiscrimately pasting Nietzsche into my comments without any paragraph breaks, thus rendering the passage utterly unreadable.

    I believe that the interpretation of Christian thought as mere nihilistic pity is a gross oversimplification which completely misses the point of love, sacrifice, and redemption. From how I see it, the “overman” was barking up the wrong tree with his own egocentric hyperreactionism.

  3. Raffy says:

    I also figure it would be a little difficult for human reasoning to fathom the extent of God’s love. I mean, how long did it take him to try and explain the reason behind Jesus’ sacrifice? And he didn’t even get close.

    And I find it cute how supposed philosophical thinkers love name dropping, like these people they quote really have anything truly definitive to say about God.

  4. FN says:

    Herr N. doesn’t interpret Christian thought merely as nihilistic pity. You chose the subject of pity with your quote; I merely lazily added a topical quote found on the net.

    I don’t know how in the world – and I mean that literally – a true Christian can speak of “love” when Christianity hates and condemns everything in this world – ourselves included – as an evil error, and only loves it’s unknown opposite.

    In essense, you have no right to your “truth,” no access to it whatsoever – and let’s not embarass ourselves by reaching for divine communication -, therefore your choosing Christian mythology as your truth tells us something about you, not about the “truth.” Christians need a “true” world completely unlike the only one we know because they suffer from and hate our world. They need a “true” self – the “soul” – because they are ashamed of and hate our animality.

    Redemption? From what? The Greeks didn’t need redemption from the gods they invented. Why do Christians? Herr N. suggests the knife here because Christian self-loathing is a disease hostile to life, to humanity. That said, he’s not ungrateful for any benefits Christianity has bestowed upon us along the way.

    In any case, at the end of the day, I really cannot fathom how anyone can live with such cartoonish drivel: some criminal rabbi died 2000 years ago and you think he did it for you – a little bug momentarily alive on a rock in space – so that you won’t die like everything else that has ever lived? And you believe this at the expense of hating everything we are while actually here? *That’s* “egocentric hyperreactionism,” don’t you think?

  5. rich says:

    Tell us FN… what do you believe in?

    What drives you to live another day in this world? What do you think has life in store for you? What does the word, ‘hope’ mean to you?

    Btw, Paulo was just offering praise to God, and you come up with a smart-alecky-kind-of comment which is completely out of place. I think that’s what Paulo meant by “egocentric hyperreactionism”… We know you’re smart. Channel it properly.

    May God bless you, FN.

  6. Paulo says:

    “The Greeks didn’t need redemption from the gods they invented.”

    Actually, they did. ;) You can see St. Paul helping to save the Greeks from their primitive gods and dead idols in Acts 17.

  7. The Lord’s mercies are new every morning, as Lamentations 3:23 says, and it’s a wonderful thing when the the eyes of our heart can see afresh the words of even so well known a text as Psalm 53. Thank you for sharing that experience, Paulo.

    And sharing so sweet an experience shouldn’t have been taken as an occasion for strife here. A pity. Not that real questioning shouldn’t be welcomed. And I think that the faith statement you’ve posted elsewhere on the site is in the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15.

    Regards, Francis

  8. Outis says:

    ‘Religion is Opium fŸr das Volk’ as Marx used to say. However if I had one single wish to come true than I would ask for Religion to exist because it defies the very ‘meaninglessness’ of our existence. To be a believer is to be incredible idealistic. Only the most deluded or the strongest of mind can succeed.

    Best Wishes



  9. Outis says:

    Apologies, Spelling mistake. The correct aphorism is of course:

    ‘Religion ist Opium fŸr das Volk’