Summary: A sermon on the suffering of Jesus based on Isaiah 52 and 53.
THE SONG OF THE SUFFERING SERVANT Isa. 53:1-9
INTRO.: Hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth prophets predicted the events of His life. His birth, ministry, death, and resurrection were set forth by these inspired men in great detail Even His return in glory was predicted long before His first coming These prophecies, called “messianic” prophecies were intended to prepare the world fcr the coming of the Messiah.
Of all the messianic prophecies in the Bible this one is the clearest and most beautiful of all. It has helped earn the prophet Isaiah the title “Gospel Prophet.”
The story told in the 52nd and 53rd chapter cf Isaiah is of the cross of Christ and the suffering that went along with His atonement for sin. No passage of the Bible except the Gospel accounts gives a more vivid picture of the suffering of the cross
Isaiah pictures the Messiah as a suffering servant of Jehovah. The description he writes is like a song with five stanzas.
I. Stanza 1: The destiny of the suffering servant: 52:13-15
A. He will surely suffer, even though He is God’s servant:
.. He will leave an exalted position where He is worshiped.
2. His face and body will be marred (“appearance” and “form”).
3. The final blow will come when the Eternal experiences death.
B. His suffering and humiliation are to be temporary:
1. Joy is set before Him. Heb. 12:2.
2. Many nations will be startled because He is such an unlikely candidate for greatness.
3. They will see and hear things never seen or heard before. 15.
II. Stanza 2: the career of the suffering servant: 53:1-3
A. His work among men was full of disappointment:
1. He was unappreciated and unattractive.
2. Jews rejected Him. Like a root out of dry ground, He found no encouragement in His environment.
3. His followers were misguided and fickle. John 6:66
B. He experienced little happiness during His ministry
1. No home, wife, family, wealth, fame, or anything we count precious.
2.. He was opposed when right. This always depresses us.
3. By all worldly standards, He was a failure.
4. None of this compared with the suffering of the cross.
III. Stanza 3: The agony of the suffering servant: 4-6
A. From the human point of view: v. 4
1. Stricken - under divine censure.
2. Smitten - Indeed He was, but men saw it as God’s judgement.
3. Afflicted - cast into deep, lasting humiliation. Men surely thought Jesus would never be respected cr followed after His crucifixion.
4. This is based upon the idea that Jews thought suffering to be God’s .judgement against sin. It is not. We do not pay for our sins in this life.
B. From the Divine point of view:
1. He is wounded for our transgressions, not His. We need never suffer for our sins if we accept His suffering as atonement.
2. Bruised - crushed in spirit and in body for our iniquities.
3. Our peace was bought with His blood.
IV. Stanza 4: The submission of the suffering servant: 53:7-9
A. He was silent when on trial: Matt. 26:63, 27:12
1. Because speaking would do no good.
2. Because He had resigned Himself to God’s will and that resignation made Him strong.
3. He might have cried out and saved Himself, but His aim wasn’t personal but universal salvation.
B. Our sinless Substitute suffered silently for sins not His own.
1. Wickedness prevailed. There was no justice.
2. He was cut off from the earth. We wonder about the future of someone killed in early life as He was. “What a shame. He had so much to live for,” we say.
3. But, He also had much to die for.
C. His “final resting place.”
1. With the wicked. This was the Jews’ intention. “add insult to injury.”
2. With the rich. This seems like a mockery. The King of the Universe in a borrowed tomb.
3. He did not belong with either of them because He was not guilty of crime or deceit.
V. Stanza 5: The suffering servant’s reward. 10-12
A. God’s purpose fulfilled.
1. God’s purpose: bruise then exalt His servant.
2. Because He obeyed, God gave Him a place among the great. 12
B. His death brought satisfaction:
1. The Father’s perfect will was satisfied.
2. The demands of justice were satisfied.
3. The sinner’s need for a perfect sacrifice was satisfied.
4. The Sufferer’s destiny was fulfilled when He offered Himself in complete obedience.
C. God’s purpose for men is fulfilled.
1. To bear the sins of many. Take their burden out of the way on the cross.
2. To make intercession for transgressors. Plead their case before God by His sacrifice.
CONCLUSION: When the Ethiopian read this passage hundreds of years later and learned to understand it, his life was changed because he came to realize the Servant suffered for him. Acts 8:26-40