The Story of One Who Took the Blame

January 17, 2017

This is the story of one who took the blame.
Our blame.
We were the ones who did it. But we weren’t the ones punished for it.
He was.

We hadn’t really noticed him before.
He’s not necessarily the one we would have chosen.
But there he was,
taking the blame.

And he took all of it.
There are so many of us,
so many of us who should have accounted for what we did,
but he took it all.

He took it all,
and it killed him.

“All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned every one to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”

It is a burden too heavy for all of us as a group to bear,
much less this one man.
Far too heavy.

We cannot believe what he has done.
Why on earth did he do it?

So many of us didn’t even like him.

No one would have expected this.

And it wasn’t right.

“By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living”

He died.
But things are different for us now because of it.
We have been made righteous.
After what we did.
We are made righteous.

But we were the ones who did wrong.
We were not victims in need of saving.
We were the transgressors!

Even so, there he was.

And we are considered clean.
We are healed and blameless
and whole.
Completely clean because of him.
Like none of what we did matters anymore.

“Because he poured out himself to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.”

What do we do now?

That’s the question, isn’t it? What do we do now?

The story of one who takes the blame belongs to the exiled Israelites written about in Isaiah. But in many ways, it belongs to us too. To us and our Christ.

The story of one who takes the blame quickly becomes so familiar, but really, how crazy. And how amazing and wonderful. In the most painful kind of way.

I am the kind of person who holds guilt far too heavily. To the point of getting stuck in it. Some days I get stuck in the thought that it was supposed to be me. That was my guilt, my shame, my sins and transgressions.

But it wasn’t. It was Christ.
And I have been made clean, healed,
and made whole.

And now my whole life is an attempt to live in response to that.
Christ has made me clean.
God has called me his own.
The Spirit lives in me, enabling me to live in response
to this new wholeness and cleanliness.
Even now, I cannot do this on my own.

And thank goodness, this gospel does not stop with me
but spreads to the ends of the earth and seas.
“The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.”

We have been made clean, healed,
and made whole.

And now the rest of our lives are attempts to live in response to that.
Christ has made us clean.
God has called us his own.
The Spirit lives in us, enabling us to live in response
to this new wholeness and cleanliness.
Even now, we cannot do this on our own.

We live our lives under the marvelous weight
of grace.

About the Author
  • Hannah Barker Nickolay is a first year student at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. She is a poet, theatre artist, musician, and worship designer who longs to find the place where all these things meet to serve the Kingdom. She is married to a fellow theatre artist named Jackson. She loves nothing more than sharing good food and good words with dear friends.

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