Deliverance and a Deliverer

Posted: December 5, 2013 in Isaiah

Isaiah 52-53, “Deliverance and a Deliverer”

“Well there’s good news & there’s bad news – which one do you want first?”  All of us have heard something like that at some point, and most likely we dreaded it.  For our family, it’s usually dealing with some sort of repair.  The good news is that it can be fixed; the bad news is that it costs an arm & a leg to fix it.  Yet what if the bad news & good news was far better?  I.e. the bad news was really bad, but the good news is that the problem had already been taken care of.  That’s what Israel had in their problem with Babylon – and that’s what we have in our problem with sin.

The bad news is that the Jews really did deserve their slavery.  They had truly sinned against the Lord.  The good news is that God promised them deliverance out of slavery.  More than that, He promised the perfect Deliverer who would come and grant them a deliverance beyond their wildest dreams.  They did not only have the opportunity to be freed from Babylon, but to be freed from sin & death itself as the Servant-Deliverer stood in their place.

Would they avail themselves of it?  Historically, not all of the Jews came back in the 2nd Exodus.  Many had grown comfortable in their Babylonian lives & didn’t want to leave.  Thus they never experienced the fullness of the fulfillment of God’s promises.  The same issue is true today regarding people’s response to Jesus.  Many have heard of His work – many know what He offers – but not everyone avails themselves of His grace.  God offers deliverance and a Deliverer.  How will we respond?

Isaiah 52

  • Wake up to God’s redemption (vss. 1-6)

1 Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean Shall no longer come to you. 2 Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!

  • Ch. 52 begins with the call to “Awake! Awake!” continuing the theme from Ch. 51. (Chapter breaks not inspired!)  In 51:9-11, the people of Jerusalem asked God to wake up to their plight, and free them from slavery as He did in the days of Egypt.  God responded to them in 51:17, showing them that their slavery was their own fault.  They had earned their portion of the cup of God’s wrath, and they were drinking down to the dregs.  Yet the good news is that the cup was limited, and God would take His cup from them & give it to their oppressors.  52:1 picks up with that theme again, as God continues to respond to Jerusalem, promising how He will act on their behalf.  God had not fallen asleep on them, and they did not need to remain in a stupor.  They were to wake up and believe the promises that God had made to them – wake up & be ready to respond to God’s work of salvation!
    • Are we awake to the actions of God on our behalf?
  • Specifically to Jerusalem, God called them to get ready to move.  They were no longer to wear the clothing of humiliation and slavery, but “beautiful garments” as they walked in the protection and blessing of God.  They did not need to be afraid of the “uncircumcised and unclean,” as the Babylonians would no longer trample the ground of “the holy city.”  The Jews could simultaneously “arise” from the humiliation of the “dust” and “sit down” as God placed them in a position of honor at His side.  They would no longer be “captive,” but they would be freed to dwell in the blessing of God.
    • What beautiful language of freedom!
    • Too many Christians live as if we are still enslaved.  Jesus calls us also to “awake!”  Listen carefully to the promises of Christ, and believe them – walk in them!  Do not entangle yourself again to the slavery of sin, but truly walk IN Christ.  Not merely WITH Christ, but Jesus promises to live IN us, and we can walk IN His power through the Person of the Holy Spirit.  THAT’s freedom!

3 For thus says the LORD: “You have sold yourselves for nothing, And you shall be redeemed without money.”

  • Have you ever done something & immediately realized that it wasn’t worth the cost?  Especially sin…you do something you know you shouldn’t have done in the first place, and you think, “Why?  What a waste!”  That’s where the Jews were.  They had engaged in sin & idolatry, and they ended up selling themselves into Babylonian slavery.  The cost simply wasn’t worth it.  They sold themselves “for nothing.”  They got nothing out of it, though they paid dearly in their suffering.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, that’s also how their redemption would come: without cost.  They would not buy themselves out of slavery – they could not buy their freedom if they had tried.  Yet a price would indeed be paid for them, and they would be free.  Historically speaking, this is exactly what happened as God used the kingdom of the Medes & Persians to free the Jews and send them back to their homeland, with Persia paying all of the costs.  The Jews did not have to spend their own money to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple; it was built by the command and out of the treasury of Cyrus, king of Persia (Ezra 1:2-4).
  • Theologically, this is what happens with us, as well.  We do not purchase our own freedom out of the slavery of sin…we couldn’t do it if we tried!  Yet our freedom IS purchased.  We have been bought with the highest of prices, though we ourselves didn’t pay it.  God did, when Jesus shed His blood on our account.  1 Peter 1:18–19, "(18) knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, (19) but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." []
    • Salvation is a free gift, but it certainly isn’t free.
  • The history of Israel was replete with instances of slavery.  They were well acquainted with it.  See vs. 4…

4 For thus says the Lord GOD: “My people went down at first Into Egypt to dwell there; Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what have I here,” says the LORD, “That My people are taken away for nothing? Those who rule over them Make them wail,” says the LORD, “And My name is blasphemed continually every day.

  • First there was Egypt, into which the people were directed to go by the mercies of God.  When Joseph first had his father Israel & all his brothers join him in Egypt, it was because God had raised up Joseph to a position of immense power, and God used Joseph to save His people from certain destruction in famine.  But over time, the political situation in Egypt changed, and those who were once royal guests became slaves.  God heard His people’s cry in slavery, raised up a deliverer in Moses, and brought the people into freedom.
  • Then there was Assyria.  By this point, the nation had split in two, with the northern kingdom of Israel/Samaria abandoning the faith of their fathers, and God used the Assyrians to totally overwhelm them and wipe them out.  The southern kingdom of Judah fared little better, not enslaved but certainly “oppressed” by the Assyrian empire.  Yet God delivered His people again (which was the subject of much of the 1st half of the book of Isaiah).
  • Now there was the slavery of the Babylonians.  God looks upon it & asks the logical question, “Now therefore, what have I here?”  What was this new situation that caused His people to suffer & “wail”?  Was God deaf to the cries of His people this time, when He had not been in the past?  Certainly not!  God knew exactly what was going on in the lives of His people, and He knew every extent of their suffering as their enemies “blasphemed” the name of God.  The Babylonians and all the nations would have thought God to have abandoned His people, saying, “Where is the God of Israel now?  What good can He do?”  They were about to find out in very visible ways!
    • We have the same assurances of the presence and the knowledge of God.  He knows our sufferings – we have not been forgotten by Him.  No one who has been bought by the blood of Jesus has been forgotten by our Lord & Savior.  Though our enemies might blaspheme, saying, “What good has your faith in Jesus done?” we can know that our God sees & knows. (God still sees Pastor Saeed Abedini…keep praying for him.)
  • God heard them & God promised to act on their behalf.  What would be the result?  Faith!  See vs. 6…

6 Therefore My people shall know My name; Therefore they shall know in that day That I am He who speaks: ‘Behold, it is I.’ ”

  • When God acts in His mighty power, His people see!  The Jews would “know” the name of the Lord when He brought them out of slavery.  When they experienced the deliverance He promised, they would have no doubt that it was the Lord Himself (Yahweh God) who did it.
  • This was true regarding the exodus out of Babylon, but it will be ultimately fulfilled when God delivers Israel out of the Great Tribulation.  Then, the people of God will call upon His name and forever give glory to Him for His mighty work!
  • As the Church, we are blessed to know the name of God today!  Yahweh God has revealed Himself, and He is Jesus!  God the Father sent God the Son to deliver us, and when we came to believe in Jesus as Lord, God the Holy Spirit indwelt us and we knew His mighty name & power.  The point?  Our deliverance is the personal act of the personal God.  He Himself acted on our behalf, and we know His name.  We have been made His children.  We know Who it is that has spoken His promises: Jesus the Christ!
  • Joy when redemption comes (vss. 7-10)

7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the LORD brings back Zion.

  • Paul quoted vs. 7 in his letter to the Romans speaking of the glory of the gospel of Jesus going into all the world. (Rom 10:15)  In Isaiah’s original context, it was the declaration of the deliverance of Israel.  It was as if some of the enslaved Jews were keeping watch on the walls of their cities, straining their eyes over the horizon to see some glimmer of hope.  All of a sudden, they see a Messenger coming closer & closer.  Who is the Messenger?  None other than Almighty God!  In an instant, the Messenger and the watchman stand face-to-face & “eye to eye” as God brings His glorious message of salvation.  Zion is delivered!  God Himself saves His people!  THAT is truly good news!
  • And that is the privilege we have in sharing the gospel.  We are sharing the good news of salvation with the world.  Our friends and family are still lost in their sin, and many of them are looking over the horizon for some glimmer of hope.  We HAVE that hope!  We bring them that hope when we bring them the message of Jesus Christ.  HE is the One who delivers – He is the One who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth and who reigns in all of the world.  He is the One who reconciles lost men & women back to God.  The “glad tidings of good things” is the gospel (the very definition!) – there is no better news than the news of Jesus’ offer of salvation to all the world.

9 Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The LORD has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God.

  • Rejoice!  God saves!  God “has comforted His people” & “He has redeemed Jerusalem.”  What wonderful news!  God keeps His promises.  He said He would redeem His people & that is exactly what He did.  The whole world witnessed the salvation of God when God brought His people out of Babylon.  More than that, “all the nations” of the world will know the power of God when Jesus comes back in power and might, rescuing His people out of the Great Tribulation.  As mankind enters into the Millennial Kingdom, “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
  • Part of this is what many Christians celebrate by observing the season of Advent.  It is the expectation of the Deliverer promised by God.  Just as the nation of Israel awaited deliverance out of Babylon, they awaited a more specific Deliverer according to prophecy: the Messiah.  And one night outside of Bethlehem the good news of the Deliverer was announced!  The angels broke forth into joy & sang of the glories of God as the Redeemer of Jerusalem & all the world was born.
  • The victorious redemption march (vss. 11-12)

11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there, Touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, Be clean, You who bear the vessels of the LORD. 12 For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

  • Now that God has called Israel to wake, He also calls them to leave.  Get out of Babylon – leave it all behind!  Don’t take the customs of the Babylonians with you, nor any of their defiled ways.  Proceed out as the priestly people of the Lord, purified and set aside for His purposes.  This is a bit different from Egypt, as on the night of the Passover, they were told to prepare to leave in haste, even eating dinner that night with their sandals still on their feet. (Exo 12:11).  This time, they are to proceed out definitively, but majestically.  They are not running for their lives away from Pharaoh (even though still protected by the Lord); they are proceeding out almost in a parade – a total victory, one that has already been prepared by the Lord God.
    • Christian, how are we to proceed out from sin?  Majestically – victoriously!  Jesus has already won the battle – our salvation has already been secured…all we need to do is to leave the old things behind.  Don’t go back to them – don’t take them with you.  Leave it all behind, and walk in the freedom that the Lord Jesus provides.
  • Notice how God goes with His people.  He leads from the front, and He brings up the rear.  He guides them through the wilderness and difficulties, and protects them from attacks that might come.  IOW, everything about their exodus (both the 1st & 2nd) are completely wrapped up in the Lord!  He granted their deliverance, and He secures their deliverance.
    • So it is with us.  God does the work of our salvation both “before and after.”  He makes it possible for us to be saved – through faith in Christ He DOES save – He alone by His power secures our salvation.  Everything we have in Christ we have because of Christ.

Context & theme is going to change a bit.  God is still going to tell His people about their coming deliverance, but now He focuses more on the Person of the coming Deliverer.  Isaiah has had several songs devoted to God’s Servant, but this is the most extensive & most detailed.

  • Summary of the Servant’s suffering (vss. 13-15)

13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.

  • Much will be written of the Servant (the Messiah’s) rejection, but before any of that begins, what is made clear is His victory and exaltation.  From the get-go, the Servant of God is shown to be absolutely & eternally victorious.  Will He be rejected?  Yes.  Will He suffer?  Yes.  But as with the suffering of God’s people, the suffering of the Messiah won’t be the end of the Messiah.  God had something more in mind for His Servant: glory!  The Servant will be “exalted and extolled” and placed on high, despite the low depths He would experience in His suffering and rejection.
  • Not only is there a victory for the Servant; there is a future plan for the Servant.  He “shall deal prudently.”  How could the Servant be wise and prosperous if He was to be rejected?  Only if there is something that takes place after His rejection.  There is a future glory & reign for the Servant as the One who came to serve becomes the One who reigns forever.  That He would be placed “very high” speaks of the throne of glory, as Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.  He has been raised to the highest place because He is the highest God!
  • Of course, there was yet a rejection to first come.  The Servant’s summary begins with His glory, but also speaks of His suffering.  See vs. 14…

14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men; 15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider.

  • Before Jesus’ exaltation is His humiliation.  The Creator God came to earth and was brutally beaten and abused by created man.  So beaten would Jesus be, that His appearance would be unrecognizable, and people would be astonished at Him.  Historically speaking, that is exactly what took place as Jesus was flogged with the Roman scourge.  His back was flayed and ripped to shreds, and no doubt the cords of the cat-of-9-tails wrapped around His body & struck His face, chest, and front as well.  Beyond that, He was struck with rods, and beaten with bare hands.  Roman soldiers ripped clumps of hair out of His beard, and they shoved a terrible crown of thorns down upon His head.  So bruised, bloody, and beaten was Jesus that when He at last came before Pilate prior to His crucifixion, Pilate thought to use Jesus as a visual image of someone who had been punished enough.  He presented Jesus to the city of Jerusalem, and said, “Behold the Man!” (Jn 19:1-5)
  • Kings may have been “astonished” at the humiliation of Jesus’ 1st coming, but they will also be astonished at the glory of His 2nd!  They will be amazed and speechless when Jesus comes back in power and might, knowing that the One they had rejected is ultimately their own King and Judge.

Isaiah 53

  • The unlikelihood of the Servant (vss. 1-3)

1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

  • From the very beginnings of Jesus’ earthly ministry, people were in disbelief about Him.  One of His own disciples questioned, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (Jn 1:46) The Pharisees believed that Jesus could not even fulfill the Messianic prophecies, because they believed He was born of Galilee (and not Bethlehem) (Jn 7:52).  Though Jesus did come exactly according to prophecy, He was raised in the most unlikely of ways among His people.  Though of the line of David, Jesus was not raised in a royal house with the air of a King.  Instead, He was raised in the backwoods far from His ancestral home as an artisan carpenter.  Though He is the God who gave the Scriptures, He was not raised in training to be a rabbi or a theological scholar.  When walking among the people, He did not hold Himself at arms-length, but walked side-by-side with tax collectors, harlots, and other sinners.  He touched lepers & others who were unclean.  Was this really how the Most Holy Messiah, the Servant of God, supposed to act?  Yes!  It may have been unexpected to the Jews, but it was the will of God.
  • On top of it all, Jesus wasn’t even handsome!  David was known as a ruddy young man, but a warrior.  The announcement of Saul’s kingship was specifically supported by the people because he was taller than everyone else, and physically stood out (1 Sam 10:23-24).  Not so with Jesus.  He did not stand out from the crowd based on His physical features; He stood out based upon His authority from God!  Even so, He was apparently nothing to look at…especially as the people rejected Him.  Beaten & bloodied, Jesus did not appear to be a victorious king.  Why would anyone “desire Him”?
    • Because He is the truth!

3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

  • Not only did Jesus come in an unlikely way & have an unlikely appearance, the Servant-Messiah would have an unlikely reception.  One would expect the King of the Jews to be welcomed by the Jews.  We would expect the Deliverer to be upheld and honored by those He came to deliver and save.  Not so.  “He is despised and rejected by men.”  The people rejected their King.  On Palm Sunday, it would have appeared as if the people were ready to crown Him that very day; yet just a few days later the same people were crying out for His brutal crucifixion.  Jesus came unto His own, according to the will and prophecy of God, but His own did not receive Him.
  • As a result, Jesus is “a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”  God knows what it is like to suffer.  God knows what it is like to be sorrowful and in despair.  Think about that for a moment.  The God who always experienced all glory – the God who is worthy of all worship – the God who ought to never have experienced sorrow at all, DID.  What reason is there for God to experience grief?  After all, if someone rebels against Him, He can either kill them at that moment, or allow them to experience His eternal judgment.  There is absolutely no reason for Him to feel sorrow.  Yet He does…why?  Because God chooses to love us.  God chooses to love His creation, so much to the extent that He could actually experience sorrow when we reject Him.  It underscores the fact that although God will allow people to experience eternal judgment, He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  God’s fervent desire is that all would be saved, and it grieves Him that many would reject Him and His grace.
  • Taking on the personal 1st person, Isaiah says “we hid…our faces…we did not esteem Him.”  He does not exempt himself from the rejection of the Messiah, knowing that he partakes in it simply from being a part of the Jewish nation.  All of us have sinned against God, thus all of us have despised God.  All of us have rejected God at some point, and all of us are in dire need of that same God we rejected.
  • This is what Jesus endured for us!  Jesus knew He would be rejected by men long before He ever became a Man.  The Son of God knew from eternity past exactly what would happen and what He would experience, and yet He did it anyway.  This is the grand love of God for us!
  • The substitution of the Servant (vss. 4-6)

4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

  • Few verses in the Scripture speak of the doctrine of substitution as clearly as this.  The reason Jesus experienced so much grief is because He took our griefs upon Himself.  He stood in our place for our sorrows.  The punishment we earned due to our transgressions is what Jesus bore.  He wounds & chastisements were not due to His faults, but ours.  He willingly stepped into our place, that we might experience the grace, healing, and forgiveness of God.  In modern terms, we think of men and women who work in the Secret Service.  Those ordered to protect the life of the President are willing to step in the way of the line of fire, and take a bullet in the chest, substituting themselves for the President during an assassination attempt.  That’s what Jesus did for us.  He stepped into the path of the bullet of God’s wrath.  Obviously God is just in His wrath, and He righteously pours it out upon those who rebel against Him, but Jesus pushes us out of the way & takes the hit for us.  OUR griefs – OUR sorrows – OUR transgressions – OUR iniquities, etc.  Those were the reasons Jesus suffered the wrath of His Heavenly Father.  Not for anything He had done, but for everything we had done.  He stepped into our place as our substitute.  2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." []

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.

  • All have sinned, and all sin was placed upon Jesus.  Even the prophet Isaiah is included in this.  Those who are “holy” are not exempt from sin – none of us are so good as to be perfect.  All have fallen short of the glory of God, and all have “turned…to his own way.”  And Jesus died for every last one of us.  God put “all” iniquity and sin upon His shoulders.
  • There is bad news & good news.  The bad news is that all of us are desperately wicked – though if we are being honest, even the most “moral” among us would have to admit the same.  No amount of good deeds wipes out the evil we have thought & that which we have acted upon.  Yet therein is the good news…every last bit of that evil was “laid” on Jesus!  There is not a sin you have committed (or will commit) for which Jesus has not already suffered and died.  ALL of it is completed in the cross & resurrection.
    • There is wonderful freedom and assurance in this!  There never comes a point in a born-again Christian’s life in which we have to wonder, “Have I gone too far?  Will Jesus forsake me?”  The answer is NO!  God already laid your iniquity upon His Son – long before you were ever born.  Jesus died for it all, and thus we can never go further than what Jesus has already done.  You are cleansed in Christ – you are free & forgiven in Jesus!
  • The death of the Servant (vss. 7-9)

7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

  • Not only was Jesus rejected, but He was sentenced to death…and He willingly endured it.  He stayed silent in the face of abuse and accusations.  He did not answer the Sanhedrin, despite their kangaroo-court of false witnesses.  He did not answer Herod, who tried to get Christ to perform like a trained monkey.  He did not answer Pilate, who waved the false power of Rome in front of the face of Almighty God.  The Good Shepherd became the Passover Sheep as He was led to His “slaughter.”  Jesus knew exactly what He would face, and He said & did nothing to prevent it.  One word from His mouth could have obliterated all who abused Him – Jesus was merciful in His silence, and obedient as God led His Son to the cross.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9 And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

  • The gospel accounts show this literally fulfilled as Jesus died between two robbers, and given a burial by two rich men.  What is more astounding than the circumstances of His death is the fact that He died at all.  After all, this is GOD.  The Holy Servant – the Son of God was not only rejected & sentenced to die, but He actually did die.  He was “cut off” not only from His people, but “from the land of the living.”  The One who breathed life into mankind had His own life end.  The world turned upside down as the Perfect God died because of the sins of wicked mankind.
  • If that isn’t the very definition of grace, I’m not sure what is!  Jesus deserved none of what He received.  He was truly innocent, it was for our “transgressions” that “He was stricken.”  Yet that is exactly what happened.  The Innocent One died the wicked death that we deserved through our rebellious crimes, so that we might have the life He alone deserves.
  • And this is the plan of God.  See vs. 10…
  • The victory of the Servant (vss. 10-12)

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

  • The Jews rejected their King – more specifically, all of humanity rejected its Savior.  We were the ones who tortured our Creator and called out for His death.  But it was God who “bruised Him.”  This was the plan of God all along.  From eternity past, God knew that He would make His Son “an offering for sin.”  Before Adam took his first breath, God knew that Adam would sin, and all of creation would fall with him.  Before speaking the universe into existence, God knew that sin would soon defile and corrupt His creation.  And yet God created it anyway.  Why?  Because He already had a plan of how to deal with it.  Before there was time, there was the plan of salvation in Jesus Christ.  Jesus was spiritually slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8) – this was the plan of God on how the corrupted world would be restored and reconciled.  So did God grieve when His Son died upon the cross?  Surely so.  The sky went black – the earth quaked – and even Jesus called out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  There was true pain in that cry!  But then we read “yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him.”  God was willing to endure that pain in order that His perfect plan be fulfilled.  To God, it was more pleasurable for Jesus to do what He did to have mankind reconciled, than to leave us abandoned to Hell.
  • And the result?  The Servant “shall see His seed.”  There is longevity here.  There is a lineage here.  What is this about?  How can the Servant so clearly be prophesied to die, yet have His days prolonged in order to see many more “days?”  Answer: the Resurrection!  There can be no other resolution.  The Messiah is plainly prophesied to be cut off from the land of the living, so He can’t see any future generations.  That’s impossible, unless He comes back from the dead – which is precisely what Jesus did on the 3rd day.  Death for the suffering Servant is not the end – glory is!

11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.

  • Remember that Israel would not have had any benefit from their suffering.  They had sold themselves into slavery, and not gotten anything out of it.  By contrast, the suffering of the Servant of God is highly effective!  Jesus would look at His “labor…and be satisfied.”  What Jesus set out to do, He did.  His work upon the cross is absolutely sufficient for what He intended.
  • And what comes?  Our justification!  As men and women come to the saving “knowledge” of Jesus as the Son of God, crucified for sin & risen from the dead, their sins are justified in the sight of God.  We are declared to be righteous.  Just as we would justify a scale, to put it to the right reading & set the weight at “zero,” so does God justify us in Jesus.  He sets the debt of our sin at “zero.”  When Jesus took our “iniquities” upon Himself, that was all that was needed.  Jesus’ death is sufficient for all our sins.

12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

  • The Servant song began in Ch 52 speaking of Jesus’ future glory, and ends the same way.  After terrible rejection, suffering, and death, comes great glory.  The plan for the Servant-Messiah does not end with death, but with exaltation.  Because Jesus was obedient unto death, enduring the shame, He is given “a portion with the great.”  Not just ANY portion; THE portion.  Jesus is raised up to the highest place!  Philippians 2:8–11, "(8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, (10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, (11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." []

Conclusion:
God had a plan to deliver His people – they needed to wake up to His work & His Deliverer.  The Deliverer would come in the most unlikely of ways as the Servant of God, but He would grant a deliverance far beyond the imagination of Israel.  God had bigger plans than to only bring His people out of Babylonian slavery; He would bring them out of the slavery of sin & death.

This is the promise of the Jewish Messiah – and this is what we experience when we come to faith in Christ.  We have freedom – true freedom.  We have the assurance of every single one of our sins paid for in Christ Jesus, and He gives us every reason to walk with Him, never looking back to our former lives.  We walk forward in victory, and in confidence.  We know that our transgressions were placed on the shoulders of the Son of God, and that He paid the price of our redemption in full.

Christian, this is your Christ!  This is your Lord!  This is the One in whom we rejoice, and who we worship.  Have you found yourself going back to the lifestyle and customs of your former Babylon?  Wake up – depart!  Shake the dust off your feet, and walk in Christ, just as Jesus promised we could walk.  Have you found yourself walking in guilt?  Remember that Christ was already wounded for your transgressions.  He has already paid the price for every sin – receive His forgiveness by faith & walk anew.

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