THE SUFFERING SERVANT
Sermon shared by Dennis Davidson
Summary: The Servant is not a helpless victim of circumstance, but One who in His submissiveness & innocence fulfills the greater purposes of God. Thus in the end He will prosper & be victorious, for His vicarious suffering is Godís plan to accomplish His purpose
Audience: General adults
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ISAIAH 53: 7-9
THE SUFFERING SERVANT
[Matthew 27:57-60 / Acts 8:26-40 / 1 Pet. 3:8-18]
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 Messiahís extreme physical and spiritual suffering have been plainly prophesied. Yet, the Suffering Servant humbly endures them as Godís 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 manís injustice and iniquity victoriously in noble silence. The Servant did not rebel against evil manís 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 Godís plan to accomplish His purpose (CIT). The destiny of servanthood to God is triumph even though its short-run experience may look like defeat. Godís ways are not manís 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.
Manís 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 Jesusí 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 Servantís patience in suffering is stressed. Not a word of complaint, not a whimper of protest was heard from the Saviorís 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 Fatherís 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
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