Summary: I preach weekly to a congregation that sometimes include Muslims and Hindus who are coming out of curiosity. This is a Christological sermon for sure.
The Suffering Servant
Text: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 form for us a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ
The Old Testament is full of “Types and Shadows” of what is to come in the New Testament. These “Types and Shadows” were meant to prepare us for the reality that would come in the Lord Jesus Christ.
** It is like this: A certain man went on the internet and visited eBay.com. There he saw advertised a very nice soprano saxophone. He had always wanted a soprano sax...but, he wasn’t to sure about buying off from eBay. Why? Well, you don’t actually get to see and handle the real item ... he had to rely on a picture and a description to help him to decide whether or not this is the soprano saxophone he wanted. After he went ahead and purchased the sax ... and did receive it from FEDEX... THEN, he got to see and feel the real thing.
That is--in a way--the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament we get to see the picture and description of the coming Redeemer. In the New Testament the Redeemer is “ ... [who] we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched”. (1 John 1:1) For us living in the 21st Century, the Holy Spirit is our FEDEX, bringing us the reality of the risen Lord.
A Servant Who Will Be Exalted
The Jewish people were looking for a HEROIC messiah ... a deliverer. Their understanding came from one of the earliest messianic prophecies in the Holy Bible found in Deuteronomy 18:18 ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.” Since MOSES was a DELIVERING PROPHET who had DELIVERED the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, then it stood to reason that the Messiah...who would be a prophet LIKE UNTO MOSES would also be a delivering messiah.
Is it possible that we, too, are looking for the wrong kind of savior? So many people I meet are looking for a spectacular savior...an “over-the-top” signs and wonders savior. But, is that all that Jesus was? A wonder worker?
Others are looking for a ‘Great Teacher’ savior. A teacher that can lead them to understand the mysteries of life. Certainly, Jesus was a teacher of righteousness. But, is that all that Jesus was?
Some are looking for an “all inclusive” savior that will ultimately save all the world regardless of whether people will accept His message of redemption or not. And, certainly, Jesus had great love and compassion for the lost. That is true. But, is that all that Jesus was?
Isaiah’s prophecy brings some new light, then, to the ministry of Jesus: He was the SUFFERING SERVANT OF GOD.
Philippians 2:5-7 can help us to see this:
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
The Holy Bible is teaching us that He was Co-Eternal and Co-Equal with God the Father ... from the beginning. That takes Jesus out of the category of a PROPHET who found FAVOR WITH GOD ... Jesus was DIVINE RIGHT FROM THE START ... RIGHT FROM HIS BIRTH!
John 1:1 Clearly declares:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And, John’s Gospel goes on to declare: John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
But, The Son of God emptied Himself of every Divine privilege to become a servant...just as Isaiah had prophesied. He was FAITHFUL to EVERY COMMAND of GOD...even FAITHFUL TO THE HORRIBLE DEATH OF THE CROSS!
He carried out this “Servant” role perfectly! How can we know this? Open your Holy Bible to John 17. Here Jesus is praying one of His last “earthly” prayers before the crucifixion. He is reporting to God the Father that He has carried out all of the tasks assigned to Him! Look at:
Vrs 4. “I have finished the work which You have given me to do.”
Vrs 4: “I have GLORIFIED Your name”.
Vrs 6: “I have REVEALED Your name to the men you have given me.”