Summary: We all love a comeback story. Today is Easter, or as I like to call it, Resurrection Sunday. The Resurrection story is about victory rising out of suffering and defeat. It is the story of the greatest comeback in human history!
I love a comeback story!
Last week, Kim and I watched “War Horse.” It’s a Steven Spielberg film about a young English boy and his horse.
The family is about to lose their farm because dad bought a horse for his son. The father bears a war injury and cannot tend the farm. He spends his last money buying this horse that was a racing horse, and not a work horse.
The land owner is about to evict the family. Their only hope is if the teenager can plow a rock-filled field with his new thoroughbred so that the family can plant their crops.
The entire town gathers along the field to watch the event. They watch with pity and laughter as the boy attempts the impossible. “A team of trained horses couldn’t plow that field,” they say. But everyone wants the boy and his horse to pull through.
Rain falls, and the crowd disappears, sure that this is the end for the boy and his family. But as the rain falls, the boy and his horse continue, undaunted. With more rain, the ground softens enough for the boy and his horse to finish the job and save the family farm.
Everyone loves a comeback story.
Whose spirit didn’t soar when the 1980 Men’s Olympic Hockey Team defeated Russian in the 1980 Olympics? Or cheer when Keri Strug landed her final vault with a sprained ankle to win gold for the American women’s team in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta?
And you didn’t have to be a football fan to be thrilled when Tim Tebow accomplished the nearly impossible task of turning around the 1-4 Bronco’s with spectacular come-from-behind wins or his overtime pass to beat the Steelers in the first playoff game.
We all love a comeback story.
Today is Easter, or as I like to call it, Resurrection Sunday.
The Resurrection story is about victory rising out of suffering and defeat. It is the story of the greatest comeback in human history!
It is a story of SUFFERING and GLORY. The clouds and darkness of Good Friday give way to the joy and victory of Resurrection Power. You can feel it in the cycle of the passion week. You can sense it in the comeback of the very earth itself, brimming with new life, budding trees, growing grass and blooming flowers. What was dead has come back to life.
The Resurrection is also about you. We need a comeback too. There are times that we feel like we’re backed up at our own ten yard line, down by ten points with no time outs and only one minute left in the game. Until we have Christ in our lives, we are hopeless.
Your greatest comeback is found when your sins are forgiven through Christ!
We’ve been studying the story of Christ’s suffering and his glory from Isaiah 52:13 through the rest of Isaiah chapter 53. In these verses we see two central themes: Christ’s suffering and his glory.
His Suffering is clear.
It is the familiar passage of Christ’s passion in Isaiah 53.
He was wounded for our transgressions.
Crushed for our iniquities.
With his stripes we are healed.
But these familiar verses are found in between the other theme of Christ’s glory. Notice how the section begins with Isaiah
Isa 52:13. “He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.” This is a promise of resurrection! It is one of the few OT prophesies of resurrection. One other passage is Psalm 16:10 "because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay." This Psalm is quoted by Paul in his sermon in Acts 13:35 "So it is stated elsewhere: “ ‘You will not let your Holy One see decay."
Job also speaks prophetically of the resurrection of Jesus in Job 19:25–26 "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. " "And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;"
This Messianic prophesy that “He will be highly exalted” is expounded upon in Philippians 2:5-11 That great kenosis passage tells us how Jesus humbled himself, and through his sufferings, God “highly exalted him and has given him a name which is above every name.”
The exaltation of the Suffering Servant also marks the conclusion of Isaiah 53. Notice Isaiah 53:11–12 "After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. " "Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."