Sermons

Summary: #4 of the Servant Songs of Isaiah: The Suffering Servant. 1. The Divine Proclamation 2. The Servant’s Life 3. The Servant’s Vicarious Suffering 4. The Servant’s Silent Suffering 5. The Servant’s Victory

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March 7, 2004

Title: Servant Songs of Isaiah #4: Suffering Servant

Text: Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Introduction

1. There are 5 "Servant Songs" in Isaiah.

We started with the Introduction of the Servant in Isa_42:1-4...

Where God says, "Here is My Servant, whom I uphold. My Chosen One in whom I delight"

Then we looked at the Mission of the Servant in Isaiah 49:1-6

Where God says, "It is too small a thing for You to be My Servant to restore the tribes of Jacob...

I will also make You a Light for the Gentiles....

that You may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth"

This verse is sometimes referred to as "The Great Commission of the OT".

Last week, we looked at the obedience of the Servant in Isa_50:4-9...

Christ was obedient to His Father’s wishes in His speaking...

listening...

He was obedient to the point of His suffering...

and He was obedient in His purpose...

He said, "I set My face like flint"...

and He didn’t swerve to the right or to the left...

He was obedient all the way.

2. This morning, we will look at the 4th of the Servant Songs, the Suffering Servant.

This is the longest of the Servant songs.

It consists of 5 stanzas...

each stanza is 3 verses long.

This passage of Scripture is quoted more often in the New Testament...

than any other passage of Scripture in the Old Testament.

This passage of Scripture has been called, "the Gospel of the Old Testament"

Let’s stand together as we read God’s Word.

Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Body

1. First Stanza: The Divine Proclamation Isa_52:13-15

A. This 1st Stanza contains the words of God...

as He makes a divine proclamation.

In the KJV, He says, "Behold, my servant"...

According to Webster’s Dictionary, "behold" means...

To fix the eyes upon;

to see with attention;

to observe with care.

John said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world"...(Joh_1:29)

Then, here in our text, God Himself says..."Behold, My Servant"...

I invite you to do just that this morning...

I invite you to behold Jesus....

I invite you to fix your eyes upon Him...

I invite you to see Him in ways that you have never seen Him before...

B. God tells us, through Isaiah, that His Servant will be raised and lifted up...

He will be highly exhalted.

Isaiah used the same terminology back in Isaiah 6...

where he says, "I saw the Lord high and lifted up"

Some commentators (Keil & Delitzsch) see the 3 steps in the exaltation of Christ in these few words...

Christ will be raised...as we see in the resurrection,

Christ will be lifted up...as we see in ascension,

and Christ will be highly exhalted...as He takes His place in heaven.

C. But, before this exaltation takes place...

God announces that His Servant will be humiliated...

and His appearance and His features will become so disfigured by the abuse...

so much so, that people will hardly recognize Him.

Our text tells us that kings and other leaders will begin to understand...

what they hadn’t understood up to this point.

D. God tells us that His Servant will "sprinkle many nations"...

at first this phrase seems strange...

and commentators differ on its meaning...

The word used here means to sprinkle as in to declare clean from disease.

Leviticus 14 describes the process whereby one who had been healed from leprosy...

or some other disease that was considered contagious...

could be declared clean by the priests...

Let me read it for you Leviticus 14:2-7 says, "These are the regulations for the diseased person at the time of his ceremonial cleansing, when he is brought to the priest: 3 The priest is to go outside the camp and examine him. If the person has been healed of his infectious skin disease, 4 the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the one to be cleansed. 5 Then the priest shall order that one of the birds be killed over fresh water in a clay pot. 6 He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. 7 Seven times he shall sprinkle the one to be cleansed of the infectious disease and pronounce him clean. Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields." Lev_14:2-7 (NIV)

E. In the same way, God is telling us that His Servant...Jesus Christ...

by the sprinkling of His blood...

will provide for our cleansing from a disease far worse than leprosy...

that disease is sin.

2. Second Stanza: The Servant’s Life Isa_53:1-3

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