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Summary: Atonement

He Shall Be Satisfied

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

John Shearhart

March 13, 2011

This morning I’d like to talk to you about one of the most basic doctrines of the Christian faith: the doctrine of Atonement.

To atone is to cover or to cancel. When Christians use it we mean that Christ covered our sins and canceled our debt.

One of the defining passages of this truth is in the book of Isaiah starting at 52:13 and we’ll work our way down through chapter 53.

Behold, my servant

The servant is the Messiah. You’ll remember that as a Servant He only did His Father’s will (Jn. 5:30). He is and always has been the Logos, the Word which came down from heaven, but in His humanity He became obedient to the Father (Phil. 2:6-8). This is the dual nature of Christ as both God and Man.


shall deal prudently,

He shall act wisely or have success. Remember He taught the teachers in the temple (Lk. 2:39-52) and the people said He spoke like someone of authority (Mt. 7:28-29). He came to accomplish the will of God, and that’s exactly what He did.

He was wise and successful where the Israelites and everyone else since Adam has been foolish and has failed.

he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

He came to this earth in the form of a man only to be crucified, but the Father raised Him from the dead and placed Him at His right hand. He’s given Him everything and put Him over everything.

That’s why we read that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord (Phil. 2:10). He has been exalted by God.

14As many were astonied [stunned, appalled, astonished] at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

Ok, so we started with His exaltation, but here we see His humiliation. The one who is exalted was also appalling. The beating He took before His death marred His visage more than any other man. He was literally beat until He was unrecognizable, but it wasn’t without purpose.

I want you to remember this verse with me as we go through this passage: “He made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21).

When Christ bore our sins it was no simple or pleasurable thing—He was marred beyond recognition for our sakes.

But this accomplishes God’s will and it covers our sins:

15So shall he sprinkle many nations;

Think about how the Jews would have heard this. They were commanded to sprinkle blood all over everything: For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (Heb. 9:19-22).

Christ’s subjection to the Father’s will means that He sprinkled many nations to atone (cover and cancel) their sins. His blood sprinkled them so that they would be covered and cleansed.

So now,

the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

The people see without being told and they consider without hearing. That’s why even the kings shut their mouths; their atonement has nothing to do with what they’ve accomplished! They have no reason to brag because what they’ve received isn’t the work of their own hands.

53:1 Who 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:

The Gentile kings heard and believed, but the Jewish scholars and priests rejected. Even though God Himself came down from heaven as a tender and humble servant, they could not see or hear.

And why not?

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.

The Jews were looking for a Hero on a white horse to come stomping in to save the day. He’ll brandish His sword and overthrow the governments of the world. They couldn’t see or hear because He came as a suffering servant.

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