Summary: The Servant of Yahweh is poured out, numbered with criminals, bearing the sin of many. But he interposes, makes intercession for the transgressors and so has Successefully Achieved the plan of the Father for his people.
You probably do not remember the name Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin nor should you. But during his day he was as powerful a man as there was on earth. A Russian Communist leader he took part in the Bolshevik Revolution 1917, was editor of the Soviet newspaper Pravda (which by the way means truth), and was a full member of the Politburo. His works on economics and political science are still read today. There is a story told about a journey he took from Moscow to Kiev in 1930 to address a huge assembly on the subject of atheism. Addressing the crowd he aimed his heavy artillery at Christianity hurling insult, argument, and proof against it.
An hour later he was finished. He looked out at what seemed to be the smoldering ashes of men’s faith. "Are there any questions?" Bukharin demanded. Deafening silence filled the auditorium but then one man approached the platform and mounted the lectern standing near the communist leader. He surveyed the crowd first to the left then to the right. Finally he shouted the ancient greeting known well in the Russian Orthodox Church: "CHRIST IS RISEN!" En masse the crowd arose as one man and the response came crashing like the sound of thunder: "HE IS RISEN INDEED!"
I say to you this morning: CHRIST IS RISEN! (congregational response should
be: HE IS RISEN INDEED!). I am convinced! I have faith that Christ was dead
and he was buried. That I believe. But, this too I accept as true: He rose
from the dead and will come again in glory.
We celebrated this event last Sunday, but as I stand here today and every Sunday, I declare to you that each and every Sunday we meet together we declare our Lord’s death and resurrection until he comes. Each Sunday we meet together should be a celebration of what he has done and what he continues to do in and through us. I stand here on this day in this pulpit and proclaim this word. . . I cannot begin to tell you how this defines who I am.
It is this event, an event that Isaiah prophesied that I will again proclaim to you this morning as we conclude our study of Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12. Today we will rejoice together as we see The Successful Achievement of Yahweh’s Suffering Servant.
Follow as I read our text for this morning:
See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him-- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness--so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.