Summary: God’s greatest gift was given when Jesus suffered for your sin. His anguish on the cross is described in graphic detail in Isaiah 53.
Sermon Notes April 1, 2012
The Suffering Servant
It was Christmas of 1990. Our family was growing and three young children filled our home with joy, and lots of chaos! As with every family, Christmas was one of the most memorable and special times of the year.
This Christmas is one that I seem to remember more than others. It was just a couple of days before Christmas when Kim and I were discussing the sparse amount of presents that we had for the children. We weren’t trying to be indulgent, but were worried that they might be disappointed with only having one toy each to open. But what could we get at the last minute, and without spending more money than we had?
I went to the toy store, by this time filled with frantic parents, most of whom were like me wanting to make sure that every Christmas wish would be fulfilled. There, it caught my eye. I returned home with 2 boxes of the Matel Hot Wheels Loop de Loop racetrack. It was exactly the same as the one I had when I was a boy.
It wasn’t very expensive, but it brought pure delight to our sons. Ask them today if they remember getting a Hot Wheels Race Track and they will probably say yes.
We delight in giving our children gifts. Perhaps it’s a surprise on your way home from work, or a special birthday gift.
How much more our Heavenly Father delights in giving us gifts!
Matthew 7:11 "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
The greatest present that God ever gave, or ever will give, is the gift of his Son! 2 Corinthians 9:15 "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"
The people of JUDAH needed a gift. In 700 BC they were living in a time of DANGER.
The ASSYRIANS had taken Israel captive 20 years earlier. Isaiah prophesied during that time, and he was still speaking to the nation. Judah barely escaped the Assyrian onslaught, as recorded in Isaiah 36-37. The safety of the nation remained perilous. They were in danger of falling again, except this time God would allow Judah to be taken into captivity by the Babylonians.
The second half of Isaiah’s prophesy is directed at Judah. God warns them of the impending captivity, but he also gives comfort that they would be restored. Most importantly, he tells them of the One who would eventually come and give them complete deliverance. That One is the coming Messiah.
God’s gift to Judah was the news that He would not abandon them. The Messiah would come to deliver them.
During Christmas, I preached a series that centered on Isaiah’s prophesy in Isa 9 and 11.
Now, during the season of Resurrection we will focus on the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53.
The most familiar passage in the second half of Isaiah is Isaiah 53. It speaks of the suffering of Messiah. The section begins in Isa 52:13. And continues through chapter 53. It reveals TWO TRUTHS about the SERVANT (Messiah). First, He would SUFFER, but second, he would be exalted. John Martin describes this section in the Bible Knowledge Commentary, “The main point (in Isa. 52:13; 53:11-12) is that His suffering will lead to exaltation and glory” (John Martin, “Bible Knowledge Commentary”)
This sermon will examine His SUFFERING (Isa 52:13-53:9)
Next week, We will study His EXALTATION and GLORY (Isa 53:10-12)
I. Who is the Servant?
There are times that ISRAEL is referred to as God’s servant. Isaiah 41:8–9 “But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, " "I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you."
However, many times in Isaiah’s prophesy, the term “servant” refers to the Messiah.
Isaiah 42:1–4 "“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. " "He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. " "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; " "he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.”"
Isaiah 49:5–6 "And now the Lord says— he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength— " "he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”"