Summary: An exposition of the text describing the awful burdens Jesus lifts off those who come to him.
A Portion With the Great
Isaiah 53.1-10 November 22, 2000
Thanksgiving is this week. It is a time for expressing our thanks for God’s providence and blessing. It is also the first Sunday in Advent (the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.) It is a time when we look back to the first Advent of Christ, and ahead to the Second Coming. This 53rd chapter of Isaiah speaks of both.
I am thankful for many things this season¡K :
ƒæ I am thankful to have the opportunity to preach tonight¡K
ƒæ I hope I will be thankful afterwards that I have not embarrassed our congregation or myself too much¡K
ƒæ I am thankful we only elect presidents every four years¡K
ƒæ I am thankful that teenagers do grow up and eventually have teenagers of their own¡K
ƒæ I am thankful I am not a Butterball turkey this week.(1.)
There is one thing, above all, for which I give thanks -- the lift of Jesus!
The word "borne" appears (in one form or another) three times in this chapter (v.4, 11, 12). The root of the word is found in the verb lift. There are some things that Jesus lifts from our lives by virtue of His Lordship:
1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him,
there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
The chapter begins with a question of veracity -- "Who has believed our report?" The world has a basic crisis of a shortage of spiritual faith in Jesus Christ.
More than 700 years before the birth of our Lord, Isaiah prophesied both the birth and the crisis. Why a crisis of faith? It’s because of spiritual blindness that misses the Lord.
Common sense and worldly wisdom dictate that since Jesus was born on the wrong side of the tracks, He wasn’t going very far. And in the eyes of the world, He didn’t!
It is said of blind songwriter Fanny Crosby, that she would’ve refused treatment to restore her sight if it had been available. The reason is that she wanted nothing to interfere with the clear vision she had of Jesus.
Drew Carey was asked by Ladies’ Home Journal if he considered himself ambitious, Carey answered: "Now, yes. But before, I always thought I was going to win the lottery or get lucky. I had no idea what I was going to do. Now I would never buy a lottery ticket¡Xthat would be like slapping God in the face."(2)
Jesus lifted (53.4) upon Himself our sorrows and grief, yet the world imagined He suffered because He was bad. It was MY sorrows ¡V MY blindness He lifted, not His own. I am thankful! He also lifted my
Bruises (Isa 53.5)
5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
If there is one spiritual principle that is unchanging, it is the exchange of Christ’s grace for our goof-ups. That may not be very "theological" grammar, but it states the case. Jesus’ stripes (lit: beaten black-and-blue)and His bruises" (beaten to pieces) became the acceptable punishment for our sins.
The worst thing I have in my life is my sin. Jesus took the punishment for my sin, and that which would have beaten me in little black and blue pieces is now laid on Christ.
Corrie Ten Boom told how she met one of the S.S. guards whom had abused her and her sister during the prison camps. It was after the war, and the man had become a Christian. He offered her his hand. With all her humanity screaming for revenge, she prayed, "Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness." She then took his outstretched hand, and immediately begun to sense a current flowing along her shoulder, down the arm, and through her hand into his. She began to feel an overwhelming love for her former enemy. She discovered -- "It is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His."
Jesus lifted my bruises from me!
Blunders (Isa 53.6)
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;