All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).
God inspired the prophet Isaiah to compare people to sheep. Sheep are prone to wander away from their shepherd and flock. They eventually get lost, get into trouble, and sometimes get eaten by predators. People often act worse than sheep. God gave us minds, laws, and abilities to make good choices, but invariably at various times all of us have deliberately gone astray. Instead of following our Shepherd, we have chosen to go our own way. We have chosen the selfish and self-centered way instead of God’s way. Everyone has meditated on sinful desires and thoughts, and sometimes we have acted on those thoughts in ways that have brought harm to others and us. Because God loves everyone, God sent someone like a sheep to save us from our iniquity, our habitual practice of sin, and the eternal consequences of our disobedience. Isaiah wrote of him, “Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” when He was oppressed and afflicted (Isaiah 53:7). Isaiah was, of course, writing about the Messiah that God planned to send, and when the Messiah came He died as a sacrificial lamb when He died on the cross. When John went to heaven and saw Jesus, he saw “a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered” (Revelation 5:6). He explained why God sent Jesus, “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:19).