This was as good of an Anniversary I could ask for. I spent it serving my God and worshiping with family and friends. I don’t have a lot of anything except a burning submission to serve my God and love as He did.
Indignation is a submission of our thoughts, but not of our desires.
Pascal, one of the greatest and most influential scientific minds of all time, wrote these meaningful words: “The greatest of the proofs of Jesus Christ are the prophecies. [They are also what God has most provided for, for the event which has fulfilled them is a miracle of God.]” The observation of Pascal is definitively true. The fact of the Messiah’s extreme physical and spiritual suffering have been plainly prophesied. Yet, the Suffering Servant humbly endures them as God’s will for the sake of those who will be justified, or have their sins paid for, by Him. So the Servant voluntarily assumes the role given Him by God and bears man’s injustice and iniquity victoriously in noble silence. The Servant did not rebel against evil man’s oppression or God devastating assignment with His words or with His heart.
The Servant though is not a helpless victim of circumstance, but One who in His submissiveness and innocence fulfills the greater purposes of God. Thus in the end He will prosper and be victorious, for His vicarious suffering is God’s plan to accomplish His purpose (CIT). The destiny of servanthood to God is triumph even though its short-run experience may look like defeat. God’s ways are not man’s way. God is the God of eternity, and He is enacting an eternal plan according to His wisdom and power.
I. THE TRIAL, 7.
II. THE TRAGEDY, 8.
III. THE TOMB, 9.
Man’s judgment against the Innocent One begins in verse 7. He was oppressed and He was afflicted (or humbling Himself), Yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
There is no uncertainty as to who is described in these verses for it was made crystal clear to us in the book of Acts. For when Philip by divine appointment encountered the Ethiopian Eunuch on the road to Jerusalem in Acts 8, the Eunuch was reading these very verses. Then the Eunuch point blank asked Philip about whom the prophet was speaking. Philip then from these very Scriptures preached Jesus to him (Acts 8:35).
As we continue to study Jesus’ meekness and self-surrender and the astounding physical sufferings, let us never forget that the greatest suffering came form bearing the shameful burden of our sins which caused His Father to turn away from His Son.
First, the Servant’s patience in suffering is stressed. Not a word of complaint, not a whimper of protest was heard from the Savior’s mouth once the ordeal had begun. Neither the dreadful treatment by men nor the terrifying judgment of YAHWEH upon Him for our sins brought a word of protest from His smashed and bleeding lips. He was oppressed and He was humbling Himself, Yet He did not open His mouth. He completely surrendered to the will of the Father. He was willing to undergo such treatment and suffering because it was part of the Father’s plan.
We too need to learn this lesson. When we hurt, when we are experiencing affliction we need to endure it in silence also. If not our pain and hurt will cause us to say things that are hurtful, not only to others and ourselves, but to the cause of Christ.
Jesus was oppressed while humbling Himself. Although falsely accused by the chief priests and elders, Jesus held His peace (Mt. 26:63). When they spit on face and smacked Him, He said nothing. When others beat Him and cried, “Prophesy to us who hit You if You are the Christ?” He uttered not a word. A few hours later He stood before Pilate, who said, “Don’t You hear how many things they testify against You?” But the innocent Servant “did not answer him so that the governor marveled greatly” (Mt. 27: 13-14). His innocence and the conviction of His Spirit said and say sufficient to any listening heart.
If you have ever been to a MEAT PACKING PLANT it is an experience you will not soon forget. Cattle moan and moo as they are lead to the slaughter house. Pig and hogs squeal loudly as they are lead to slaughter. But sheep and lambs are different. They are silent as death as they go to slaughter. Even as the man cuts their jugular vein they utter not a sound or cry.
“Opened not His mouth” is a Hebrew idiom for silence and submission. Why did He submit? What motive caused Him to remain silent before His accusers? Why did allow such treatment and offer no word of protest? Listen my friend and listen with gratitude. Jesus was willing to die for sinners. John 10:17-18 says, “For this reason the Father loves Me because I lay down My life so that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me but I lay it down of Myself.”
Patiently, silently, God’s Lamb allowed Himself be led to death. As a lamb brought to the slaughter, a sheep to the shearers, so Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame.” Jesus did not fight against His fate rather He willingly submits to it. The Lamb who was slain for sinners was not driven or forced to go but went of His own free will. He was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Verse 7 of Isaiah 53 trumpets the truth that He voluntarily submitted Himself. On the day of Pentecost, Peter said, “Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have Crucified and slain (Acts 2: 23).
The Lord Jesus submitted Himself to the eternal plan of the Godhead. When you ponder the treatment He received in the halls of Justice your sense of justice is violated This meek Person, modest and humble in nature, was stripped by rough Roman soldiers. Then mocked and robe in scarlet. Crowned with sharp thorns. A cane thrust in his hand, only to be snatched away and used as a rod to beat Him. Mocking voices taunted Him, “Hail King of the Jews.” But not a retort did the Lamb of God hurl back at the rude, crude tormentors. Peter wrote of Him, “Who when He was reviled, reviled ( 1 Pet. 2:23).
Any time we are afflicted, justly or unjustly, we cry out. Jesus too could have cried out to the authorities or the people that this was unjust. He could have cried out to God and the afflicted could have become the afflictor. Yet He did not. What a lesson he teach those who suffer unjustly according to the will of God (Pet. 1 Pet. 3:17-18 ).
II. THE TRAGEDY, 8.
Verse 8 describes the unjust treatment of the Servant. By oppression and judgment He was taken away. And as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of My people, to whom the stroke was due?
Having stressed the humble endurance of the Servant in His suffering, the Isaiah gives even more details of the suffering. Neither Jesus friends or enemies, not even Satan himself had the faintest concept of what His death was intended to accomplish. This very ignorance was also prophesied centuries before. The enemies of the Servant used the manipulation of their justice system to work out their hatred of God’s Servant. It is clear that His death would be a judicially approved murder. But human will had no real power over the Servant, as Jesus testified to Pilate.
His unjust death by illegal legalized violence was misunderstood. The expression, “And as for His generation, who considered” means that not only did those who crucified Him not understand the reason for His suffering neither did His followers comprehend what was to be accomplished by His death upon the cross.
Shortly before His death, Christ told His disciples that they were going to Jerusalem, and the He would be delivered to the Gentiles, mocked, spitefully mistreated, spit on scourged and put to death. Luke 18:34 tells us that “they understood none of this things.” Understanding of such a marvel would only come after the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Years later, long after the coming of the Holy Spirit, Simeon Peter wrote, “For Christ also died the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit…” (1 Pet. 3:18).
God allowed it that He might punish His Servant for the sins of the people. (Jer. 1:16; Ezek. 5:8; Ps. 143:2). Dying in the place of the guilty, our Lord was “cut off” (nigzar) as if He had been a criminal. The blind violence that cut Him off from the land of the living became the instrument of God’s power. God being holy must judge sin. When our transgressions were laid upon Christ, God the Father judge them and cut off the sin-bear from life.
So that it would not be thought that He died for His own sins, Isaiah wrote, for the transgression of My people, to whom the stroke was due? The concept of substitutionary atonement is again proclaimed. That blow (nega) that was due us caused the Servant to be utterly forsaken by God (Ps. 22:2. The servant then experienced “the Second Death” (Rev. 2:11) for us [Oswalt, Isaiah, 396]. Praise His precious name! For all eternity! Verse 8 spoke of the Servant’s death. Verse 9 speaks of His burial.
III. THE TOMB, 9.
The prophesies of verse 9 were an enigma until Christ fulfilled them. His grave was assigned with wicked men. Yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
Men nailed Him to the Cross with common criminals and “He was numbered with the transgressors.” They would have thrown that blessed body that had been used to do so much good for man into the valley of Hinnom to be burned with the refuse of the city or eaten by dogs. But God permits man to go only so far for it was with a rich man in His death. The Father touched the heart of the believing Pharisee Joseph of Arimathea who in Matthew 27:57 is call a “rich man.” Joseph took the holy body and put it into an expensive tomb he’d had carved for himself. He who came from a virgin’s womb was laid in a virgin tomb.
Jesus who had died like a criminal would be expected to be buried like one, but that would not have fulfilled God’s Word. The prophecy was fulfilled in that He died with the wicked yet He was with a rich man in His death.
No deceit was found in Jesus. He made no false claim, nor spoke no false word. Sin was not found in Him in though, word or deed. He not only did not deserve punishment for the sins of His people, He did not deserve any punishment. He was completely and perfectly innocent.
Some may point with scorn and accuse Christ’s modern day followers of inconsistencies. Let them consider our Savior. They will find no hypocrisy in Him. Thus the Servant was given a honorable burial after His dishonorable death, because God chose to honor His perfect innocence.
CONCLUSION / I remind you friend that the Savior endured the agony of the cross because of your transgressions. To refuse God’s provision is bear the penalty of your own sins. To reject grace and continue in your sins means that God must turn away from you, just like He did His own Son Jesus Christ on the Cross. Don’t turn your back on Jesus. Think of what He has done for you.
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In you place He stood;
Sealed your pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah what a Savior!
My fervent hope is that you have trusted Him as you Savior and Lord. “He was pierced through for our rebellions, crushed for our iniquities.” By believing in the One who was made sin for you, you become the righteousness of God in Him. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound!
[When the Ethiopian read this passage hundreds of years later and learned to understand it, his life was changed, because he came to realize the Servant suffered for him. Acts 8:35-39.
You like the Ethiopian have heard the message. You also need to reflect on the fact and let that the suffering of Jesus have a profound effect upon your life. He died for you! Because of Jesus’ death we need never fear death.
When the Ethiopian learned the meaning of this passage He immediately obeyed Christ by pronouncing Him as Lord and being baptized. Is there a need for this kind of obedience in your life?
If so just bow your head and tell God something like this: Heavenly Father I’m a sinner. I ask for forgiveness and cleansing in Your shed blood. I believe you died for me on the Cross, paying the penalty I deserve. The best I know how I right now place my trust in Jesus. Save me.
If you prayed that prayer and meant it, you’re now a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. Your sins are forgiven and you’re on your way to Heaven. Come and let us rejoice with you in your decision.