Summary: “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” Isaiah 53:11.
Theme: Dying with the Lord
Text: Isaiah 53:7-12; Heb. 10:16-25; Jn. 19:16-37
The entire message of the Gospel revolves around one unique historical event: the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. Two main reasons attest to the significance of the cross; first the person crucified on it and seconds the reason for His crucifixion. Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, was crucified on it because it was the Father’s ordained way to pay the penalty for sin and purchase our salvation. Writing about this, the writer of Hebrews declares in 10:14, that “By one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” A single sovereign act of God brought together all the guilt and the suffering of humanity and offered one all sufficient solution, the cross. The suffering of Christ was so intense that it could never be imagined by the human mind or compared to any form of suffering. Christ died as our substitute and as our representative and His death is our dying with the Lord.
The suffering and death of Christ was God’s response to man’s sin. God gave the Jews the Law to point man to sin and their need for a Saviour. The Law was holy but could not save as apart from Christ, no one was capable of keeping it. The Law revealed sin and the suffering and misery it caused. It condemned it and demanded the just punishment for sin. The suffering and misery suffered by Christ was God’s response to the suffering and misery caused by sin. The only cure for sin was death, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Romans 6:23) The death of Christ is God‘s remedy for sin.
The sacrifice of God went far beyond the sacrifice of Abraham. Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac to the Lord showed certain similarities with the sacrifice of Christ. Isaac carried the wood for his own sacrifice up the mountain although they went with two servants. As a young man he could easily have resisted, yet he willingly accepted to be the sacrifice. After demonstrating his total commitment to God by his readiness to sacrifice his son God did not require such a price from Abraham and instead provided a ram for the sacrifice. In the case of His own Son, Jesus Christ, who also carried his own cross and was hang between two thieves, God could not provide a substitute because there was no one who could take His place. As in Isaac’s case, Jesus could have resisted. But He did not and God made the greatest sacrifice in the history of the universe because of His love for us. God’s sacrifice cost Him all that He had – it cost Him His only begotten Son. Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and was made sin with our sinfulness. He died because of our sin. He bore our sin so that we do not need to bear them and imputed to us His righteousness.
The death of Christ on the cross marked His victory over sin. Christ bore the sin of the whole world, past, present and future and paid the price for sin once and for all time. At the cross God forgives us and remembers our sin no more. The cross is a place of victory over Satan. At the cross Jesus crushed the head of Satan and delivered us from under his rule to restore our dominion and enable us live the abundant life. The cross is also a place of victory over death. God’s righteous judgement demanded the death penalty for sin, the shedding of blood. At the cross, the sinless Son of God died in our place that we might have eternal life.
The cross reveals the greatness of God’s love and the enormity of man’s sin. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) The cross was God’s way to save and restore man and it meant suffering and the shedding of blood. His blood flowed from His skin, His face, His back, His head, His hands, His feet and His side. The blood flowed from His skin to restore our divine covering. The blood flowed from His face when He was beaten and His beard pulled out to restore our defaced image. His blood flowed from His back for our healing. As the Roman soldiers took a crown of thorns, a result of the curse, and forcibly drove it onto Jesus’ head, the blood flowed to free us from the curse and sanctify our minds. As the soldiers pierced His hands His blood flowed to cleanse our hands and make them fruitful. As the soldiers pierced His feet, the blood flowed to cleanse our feet and restore our dominion over the enemy who has been put under our feet. After His death one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear. His blood and water flowed out of His heart so that out of our hearts can flow living water. (John 7:38). The death of Christ destroyed the power of Satan and purchased our salvation. We are in Christ and Christ is in us and God loves us just as He loves His Son.