Summary: The significance of God’s sovereign plan of salvation as revealed in the Old Testament, which is fulfilled by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. In this lesson, we will learn who Jesus is, as a Perfect Substitute who became the Suffering Servant.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. ISAIAH 53:4-6 ESV
Today, we are now on our 2nd week of our series Past Perfect. Last week, we tackled about Jesus as the Perfect Redeemer. He was the promised Passover Lamb in the Old Testament. On our 2nd week, we’ve talked about Perfect Mediator. Because of Him, we can now access God’s presence with full of confidence. Today we will be talking about who Jesus is as our Perfect Substitute. Why Jesus did give His life for us? Thoughtful people have speculated that question for 2 millenniums. Jesus was a good man, a very good man who went doing well. Even His enemies testified to his integrity. He couldn’t be bribed or pressured or threatened or intimidated. He healed the sick, raised the dead, caused the blind to see, made the lame to walk, and he preached the Good News to the poor. The common people heard him gladly.
Based on the passage from Isaiah 53, there are three human condition of any human being, we are sinful at birth: Iniquity, Transgression, and sin. Let us discuss each.
• SIN – is an offence, missing the mark. (We are Condemned)
• TRANSGRESSION – is to choose to intentionally disobey, willful trespassing, repeated sin. (We are Calloused)
• INIQUITY – is an internal corruption, perversity, born by nature. (We are Cold)
Nothing in this passage makes sense until you feel the full weight of this truth: Jesus died for us. What he did, he did for us. What he suffered was for us. The pain and the brutality and the indignity of the cross, it was all for us. In this lesson, we will see what did Jesus, our great and perfect substitute for us, sinners.
1) He took our PLAGUE
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. ISAIAH 53:4
In verse 4 the passage states the true reason for the Servant’s suffering. Surely our sickness (grief) He bore, and our pains He carried. But we considered (esteemed) Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. Isaiah explains that Christ took our pain. Jesus came to lift the heavy burden of sadness brought about by our sin and the pain of living in a sinful realm. We may be haunted by the memory of some cowardly, selfish, or shameful acts. Jesus took the lashes for all our sins. Now He invites us to accept His forgiveness and devote the rest of our lives to Him. He wants us to know the greatness of His Father’s love. That’s why He died!
The Servant is indeed characterized by grieves and sorrows, but they were not His own. It was all for us that He suffered and died. The bearing of weakness and illness that made us think little of the Servant - is our weakness and illness! The very things that made us think Him of little importance are the things for which we ought to honor Him, because it is for our sake He is enduring them. When we hurt, we hurt others. When God hurt, He healed others.
"He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrow. That must include the division in your family, the loss of your job, the death of your husband, and the pain of your past." - Colin Smith
In Christ we do not have some distant God, but in him we find a God who drew near to us, who came to us, who entered our world and became one of us, that he might carry our sorrows for us.
2) He took our PUNISHMENT
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. ISAIAH 53:5
Verse 5 is a striking picture of both the physical and spiritual anguish our Savior experienced for us. But He was pierced through for our rebellions, crushed for our iniquities; the punishment of our well-being was on Him, and His welts have made healing for us. After He took our punishment, we have peace with God, means wholeness, health, the absence of war, and safety. In a messed-up world filled with broken people and broken promises, through Christ we have peace that passes all human understanding. We are healed. We are healed from our guilt, healed from our hatred, healed from our doubt, and healed from our shame. Through Christ broken people are put back together again. It is through Jesus’ suffering, we are not condemned.