Summary: The phrase, in the Old Testament concealed is in the New Testament revealed, is true of Isaiah 52-53. This text reveals the work of the son of man who is the Son of God.
God’s Suffering Servant
Introduction – Total Sacrifice for wife
It is said that Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire, once had captured a prince and his family. When they came before him, the monarch asked the prisoner, “What will you give me if I release you?” “The half of my wealth,” was his reply. “And if I release your children?” “Everything I possess.” “And if I release your wife?” “Your Majesty, I will give myself.” Cyrus was so moved by his devotion that he freed them all. As they returned home, the prince said to his wife, “Wasn’t Cyrus a handsome man!” With a look of deep love for her husband, she said to him, “I didn’t notice. I could only keep my eyes on you--the one who was willing to give himself for me.” (Unknown)
As we gather here today, our purpose is to give our complete attention and devotion to the One who willingly gave Himself for a sinners like you and me. Let’s examine God’s Word regarding the suffering servant. What do we discover regarding this Servant who gave Himself so readily for us?
First we see…
THE SERVANT’S REVELATION
Isa.52:13-15 Behold, My Servant
As God reveals His Servant, we will see three things in this text about Him.
We see His EXALTATION in verse 13.
Three times the Word describes the Servant in prolific terms. Not only is He prudent or wise, but He is exalted or honored before man and God. He is then extolled or lifted up! This is a reference to His resurrection! Then He is described as being very high or seated at the right hand of God. He is worthy because of what He is about to do.
We see His HUMILIATION in verse 14.
You will find He is marred or disfigured. In the movie The Passion of the Christ, the appearance of Jesus is beaten viciously and unmercifully. He is unrecognizable. He took our humiliation upon Himself. He suffered what we ought to suffer. He became our substitute!
And then, we see His GLORIFICATION in verse 15.
He will startle kings and common people for the work He has completed. Most people will not believe. Even church people have head knowledge of the work He has done but will simply have a heart experience with Him. He will be glorified before all mankind at His great throne.
Illustration – Total Sacrifice
Bryan Chapell tells this story that happened in his hometown: Two brothers were playing on the sandbanks by the river. One ran after another up a large mound of sand. Unfortunately, the mound was not solid, and their weight caused them to sink in quickly.
When the boys did not return home for dinner, the family and neighbors organized a search. They found the younger brother unconscious, with his head and shoulders sticking out above the sand. When they cleared the sand to his waist, he awakened. The searchers asked, "Where is your brother?"
The child replied, "I’m standing on his shoulders"
With the sacrifice of his own life, the older brother lifted the younger to safety. The tangible and sacrificial love of the older brother literally served as a foundation for the younger brother’s life.
Jesus took our place on the cross. We are standing on the shoulders of the salvation God has made possible through His Son. What a sacrifice! He didn’t have to do it! He chose to do it for each one of us!
Second we see…
THE SERVANT’S REJECTION
Isa.53:1-3 He is despised and rejected…
In these verses, we will see the rejection of the suffering servant. How?
We see that His WORDS were rejected. They were rejected by the “who believes our report.” He spoke words that were radically different. No man spoke with the authority He had. Yet, many would not believe.
We also see that His WORKS were rejected. The arm of the Lord had been revealed but people wanted the benefits without the commitment. He gave sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, and healed the crippled. But yet they wanted more!
Finally, we see that His WITNESS was rejected. He was despised and rejected by men. We regarded Him as a loser. He did not offer what we desired. But that did not stop Jesus from accomplishing what the Father had in store for Him…our salvation through the shedding of His blood.
Illustration – Suffering
One of the most powerful prayers in the midst of suffering was uncovered from the horrors of Ravensbruck concentration camp. Ravensbruck was a concentration camp built in 1939 for women. Over 90,000 women and children perished in Ravensbruck, murdered by the Nazis. Corrie Ten Boom, who wrote The Hiding Place, was imprisoned there too. The prayer, found in the clothing of a dead child, says: