But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Many Service Members may not realize that August 7 is Purple Heart Day. This is a time for Americans to pause to remember and honor the brave men and women who were either wounded on the battlefield or made the ultimate sacrifice. If you are one of those great Americans, thank you for your sacrifice.
Did you know that the Purple Heart is the American military’s oldest medal? It was created in 1782 by Gen. George Washington to recognize bravery in combat. However, it faded from use very quickly. Gen. Douglas MacArthur spearheaded its revival in 1932, and by WWII was changed to recognize those Service Members wounded or killed in combat, later expanded to include acts of terrorism or friendly fire.
We rightfully honor those great Americans who selflessly bore physical affliction in order to preserve our freedom. But what about the One who selflessly bore affliction so that we can be free from the tyranny of sin?
Today’s verse is just a small piece of a chapter where Isaiah offers a detailed prophecy about the coming Messiah, who we know to be Jesus. Part of what Isaiah says is that the Messiah will be wounded and crushed so that we can be healed from our sins.
Jesus fulfilled this when he was beaten, whipped, and crucified. He died in our place, so that everyone who receives Him into their heart can be eternally forgiven for their sins.
What does it mean to you that through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ you can be healed from your sins?
Be sure to honor any Purple Heart recipients that you may encounter, but above all, be sure honor Jesus Christ every day.
God of Victory, thank you for those who were wounded that I may be free. Bless and comfort them and their families. And thank you for your son who died for my sins. May I honor His sacrifice by living every day for Him. Amen.