Summary: Christmas Series from Isaiah
Passage: Isaiah 53
Interesting Statement: The Bible says that God "richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." He didn't have to do it, but he did, because he loves us – that’s the best Christmas present ever.
Introduction: Isaiah’s primary purpose in writing was to (1) remind the people that they had a special relationship w/ God, (2) awaken them to the fact that God was sold out to them (covenant relationships in Gen. - Deut.) and (3) restore or call the people back to their God despite their sin. Isaiah 53 is an account of foretelling (prophecy) on the death of the Servant (Jesus the Messiah). Israel will become open-minded after they realize the significance of Christ’s death on their behalf. Like many, the people (and us) underestimate Christ as Messiah’s importance.
#1. Christ’s Rejection (Isaiah 53:1-3)
• Explanation: Isaiah’s opening question “Who has believed?” reveals Israel’s unbelief and rejection of Messiah. Isaiah says we, like Israel, reject the Messiah in three ways…
• Rejecting His Message (1) - The Jews in Isaiah grieved over the fact that so few people believed their message about the coming Christ and power contained in Him. Isaiah uses “arm” to suggest strength (in relation to Christ’s coming and revelation from God). This concept of the “arm” is a word Isaiah frequently states (See 40:10).
• Rejecting His Humanity (2) - Christ was a mundane/ordinary. There was nothing about Jesus appearance that would draw people “He [Jesus] had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” (2). Christ grew up “a tender shoot” (Coming from David’s line) as “a root out of dry ground” (Coming from an infertile spiritual area) and where one would not expect (Bethlehem). Christ looked nothing like a royal person (in beauty) or like a royal person (in majesty).
• Rejecting His Passion (3) - The nation of Israel (and “us”) rejected/despised Jesus’ human emotions (sorrows and suffering). Christ would not only feel what we feel but feel a great amount of sensitivity for people regardless of their attitudes toward Him.
• Illustration: John validates the above, “He [Jesus] came to his own, and his own people did not receive him... though he had done many signs before them.” (John 1:11)
• Application: What causes you to miss the message of the Messiah? Don’t let yourself (or another) hinder the way you hear the Word/message of Jesus. It would do us well to remove previous assumptions of God/Jesus and receive Christ’s authenticity of Messiah. There’s no excuse for rejecting Christ the Messiah (OT prophecies and NT Gospels).
2. Christ’s Redemption (Isaiah 53:4-6)
• Explanation: Why should innocent Jesus Christ die terrible death? The explanation…
o Death takes Our Emotional (Internal) Sin (4) - “Borne our grief’s” and “carried our sorrows” go together. The Hebrew “bore” translates “to carry”. Christ (crucifixion) holds our “infirmities” (internal “sickness”) which further validates His Messianic status and ability to heal our deepest internal need.
o Death takes Our Physical (External) Sin (5) - Isaiah describes Christ’s physical condition at crucifixion. Jesus “wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities” serve as symbols for of the healing that takes place for believers (future). Isaiah confirms this as he says, “the chastisement brought us peace”.
• “He (Jesus) humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Phil. 2:8
o Death takes the Weight of the World (6) – Christ’s death on the cross was sufficient for all but only efficient for those that would believe.
• Illustration: Isaiah uses sheep to illustrate how we all have gone astray. Sheep often travel together. If leading sheep turns aside from the path for grass or some other purpose, other sheep follow lead sheep, which is often dangerous. Who do you follow?
• Application: The inner peace of the Christian comes from satisfying the Father rather than living in a state of inner anguish and grief that only a life of sin gives. Jesus took the punishment, healing you spiritually so that you would “go and sin no more”. Your spiritual wounds are healed through Christ’s physical death. These verses are the very heart of the Gospel - “Christ died for our sins!” Do you believe that He is the great redeemer?
3. Christ Resignation (Isaiah 53:7-9)
• Explanation: Isaiah then gives the following is on Israel’s account of Christ’s death…
o Christ Died Willingly (7) - The Israelites were aware of the submissive nature of sheep. Jesus submission to death is "the Lamb of God” sent to take away the sins of the world. Sheep helped Jews understand the redemption of the Messiah.
o Christ Died Brutally (8) - Jesus suffered oppression and judgment in His arrest. When Isaiah says, “to be taken away”, he means to be taken to death - a parallel to being cut off from the land of the living. The words “and who can speak of His descendants” means Christ was cut off in the prime of life and left no descendants (single w/ no kids) on/for our behalf.