Isaiah 53 and the God of promise
Text: Isaiah 53
Preached in Quabbin Valley on 1/11/09; 11/14/10
This morning I would like us to think about our God as a God of promises, a God who makes and keeps promises. A God who is outside of time and space who knows the end from the beginning and who has a plan for man, who has always had a plan for man.
Think with me about the creation account found in Genesis, those who are reading the bible in a year will remember the account that they read only a few days ago. You remember how life was perfect but man wanted to be god and so we have the fall.
But at the fall God speaks to Adam and Eve and sends down punishment but he also speaks to the snake, Satan who is in the form of a serpent and he says something very interesting. Let’s read it in Genesis 3:15, God is speaking to Satan and says:
ESV Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
Here we have the first time in the entire bible that the Gospel is preached. This is the Gospel in a nutshell.
We have a promise that there will be one to come who will crush the head of Satan but Satan will bruise or crush his heel. Satan will not destroy but only hurt this one who is to come. This is the good news in a nutshell.
From that time on man has continued to rebel against God by sinning but God was working out his plan to redeem man from the power of sin and Satan. You see when man sins he puts himself into the control of Satan and sin. Sin becomes his master and he is under the power of Satan.
So God from eternity past has known that man was going to sin, he didn’t make man sin, man had a fee choice but man chose of his own to rebel against God and God had a plan to redeem man back to himself.
Our lesson is taken from Isaiah 53; a prophecy about the one to come that was given around 700 years before Jesus ever walked on earth. Not only is Isaiah 53 my favorite Old Testament verse it is a powerful prophecy from God concerning the Messiah. And we will see how God is a God of promises as we look at this passage and see how Jesus Christ fulfilled this passage to a t.
Now this morning’s lesson will be a bit different than most weeks because I plan to let God’s word speak more than me. I will be reading a lot of scripture and doing very little commenting.
1) Vs 3 Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
a. You will remember how Jesus was constantly being asked questions by the religious leaders in order to trap him. He was rejected by the leaders of the people but also by the people in his home town.
i. Matthew 13:53-58 53 ¶ And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, 54 and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household." 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
b. Also when he was in Jerusalem he was rejected by the crowd and a criminal was chosen over him. A criminal the people chose over Jesus the Christ.
i. Matthew 27:16-26 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream." 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barabbas." 22 Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Let him be crucified!" 23 And he said, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified!" 24 ¶ So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves." 25 And all the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!" 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
2) Vs 4 Isaiah 53:4 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
a. The prophecy in Isaiah tells us that the one to come would carry our grifs and sufferings or sorrows. This one to come was going to be compassionate. He was going to show his love by carrying our griefs.
i. Matthew 9:36 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
ii. Luke 7:13-15 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep." 14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you, arise." 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
iii. Matthew 12:22 22 ¶ Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.
b. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows but many still rejected him and even called him demon possessed.
i. Matthew 9:34 34 But the Pharisees said, "He casts out demons by the prince of demons."
ii. Matthew 12:24 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons."
iii. Luke 11:15 15 But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,"
3) Vs 5-6 Isaiah 53:5-6 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 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.
a. Luke 19:10 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
b. John 3:16-17 16 ¶ "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
c. Romans 5:6-8 for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
d. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 3 ¶ For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
4) Vs 7-8 Isaiah 53:7-8 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 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, stricken for the transgression of my people?
a. You remember that Jesus when he was brough before King Herod to be tried, and mocked that Jesus said nothing.
i. Luke 23:8-9 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. 9 So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer.
5) Vs 9 Isaiah 53:9 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
a. Jesus we know was sinless but this passage tells us that the Messiah was going to be condemned with the wicked. Remember Barabbas who Jesus was rejected for he was a notorious person, wicked, and evil. But there were also the two thieves that Jesus was crucified in the middle of.
i. Luke 23:32-33 32 ¶ Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.
b. And we also have Jesus being buried in a rich man’s tomb.
i. Matthew 27:57-60 57 ¶ When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.
6) Vs 10-12 Isaiah 53:10-12 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
a. Colossians 2:11-15 without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
b. Ephesians 2:14-18 has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
What have we seen here this morning? I pray that we have seen some things about our God, that he is a God of promises and he is able to and always does keep them, he is not surprised by things but is in control and always has a plan. I also pray that we have seen a closer look at Jesus and seen just what he has done for us.
Let us all think about Jesus, his sacrifice on the cross of Calvary for us and praise him for giving us victory through his blood over sin, Satan, and death.