“Easter According To Isaiah”
Isaiah 53: 1, 2
- Typically around Easter I bring the Saviour’s account of His death, burial, and resurrection from different perspectives. (The centurion’s perspective, both Mary’s perspective, etc.)
- This year I would like for us to look from the perspective of Isaiah the prophet who prophesied of the Messiah’s coming.
- There are many people who claim that they do not need Jesus just as there were Jews who claimed they needed not a Messiah, nor did they feel that they needed God.
- This is where God was fed up to His eyeballs with their lack of discernment and their worship of false idols.
- I have said it before and I repeat… the worship of anything more than a worship of God is reason for divorcement from God.
- Worship of anything other than God is a direct violation of God’s No.1 commandment.
- The worship of other gods or things that become more important to you than God is considered whoredom in the sight of God. Thus the reason for the Northern Kingdom’s divorce that Jeremiah talked about in Jeremiah 3:8 (KJV)…And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
- God will not put up with people who are not committed to Him or His Law. God doesn’t put up with “fair-weather Christians (Those who worship Him when they feel like it.)”
- So, before we get into the meat of our message today in Isaiah 53, let us take a step back in Isaiah’s prophecy to look at Isaiah 50:1…(KJV) Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
- Please note that Isaiah (inspired of God) said that the LORD (God) asks the children of Israel… “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away?”
- In other words… God is really being sarcastic in this question as to say… “There is no divorce papers issued to Judah (the mother) by me. I have not divorced Judah
- God is asking a question here in verse 2… WHY?
- 2a) Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? God asked “Why was no one willing to believe and obey me?”
- 2b…Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? God asks… “Are my arms without power to save you if I wish?”
- 2c…or have no power to deliver? “Do you think I have no power to deliver you through your trials and your small problems?”
- 2d) …behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, (God parts the waters of the Red Sea for Moses) I make the rivers a wilderness: (God said that He opened the Jordan River by turning it to dry land) their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.
- I’ve said all the above to say this… We know God has the power to cure illness. We know God has the power to save us. We know God has the power to bring us through anything if we trust Him. The problem is… we/ Israel are weak and He (Jesus) is strong.
I. Who Believes Us?
A) Who believes the report of Jesus?
- The question in our text of Isaiah 53:1…Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
- “What report are they talking about?” The “report (prophecy)” of the Messiah (Jesus.)
- This report was God’s report to Israel of a deliverer in the New Testament. The report of a Messiah going to be sent to establish His kingdom. The report of this Messiah’s unbelievable power. The report of this Messiah’s rule and government.
B) How many of us believe the report of Jesus?
- I can see the hands going up quickly and I have not even preached this message yet.
- “Why of course Bro. Ron, I believe God and Jesus and everything that was said about them.” REALLY? So does Satan. What does that prove? Nada, nothing.
- Do you believe that Jesus will do what He says He will do? Like…
- John 14:2…In my (Jesus) Father’s house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Do you really believe that Jesus would build you a mansion for the way you treat Him? I mean, why? We are not worth it. We continually sin. We continually ask God for forgiveness of our sin and Jesus continually petitions our sins to God. That must to get old. If we believe that Jesus is coming agai then why do we not prepare ourselves to get ready for His arrival?
- Malachi 3:10 (KJV) Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. We must be idiots! God made this promise to us and said… “Do what I have required of you (give of your earnings 10%) and watch me pour you out a blessing.” And many don’t do it. They give what they feel that they can afford. No faith involved at all and they sit back on their lees and say “God will understand that I live on SSDI and they pay very little.” If you don’t have faith enough to do as He asks then you are guilty of rebellion and transgression or you are calling God a liar. So, do you really believe God?
- Matthew 5:21…(KJV) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Let me ask you something… Why do we read Exodus 20:13 that says “Thou shalt not kill.” One of the ten commandments of God and still get mad at our brothers and sisters in Christ. How do we do that? Why do we do that? We must be idiots. You do notice that I said “we.” I am included. There has to be a point in our lives where we stop and say… “Enough is enough, I must stop getting angry at those who offend me, stop getting angry at those who ridicule and cause me to get upset or sin.” If we believe that God and Jesus consider “angry with his brother” as sin like unto murder…why do we do it? Do we not believe?
- I could go on and on repeating scripture after scripture about how “we do not believe. We are no different than Judah, no different than the Northern Kingdom. Thus the reason why Jesus coming to earth was necessary.
- Do we truly believe the report about Jesus and God…Do we?
C) The command to give a report
- God commanded the Jews to give a report to the world and be an example to the world as how to worship God, how to behave as God desires us to behave, how to think like God, how to be holy. And as Isaiah said here in verse 1…Who hath believed our report?”
- God commanded His Son to give a report to the world and be an example of God the Father and teach them the things of God and teach others to believe in Him. It’s amazing that God would leave His holiness and splendors of heaven to come to a sinful unholy and ugly world to redeem an unworthy people. Amazing grace, that’s what it is.
- Jesus commanded His disciples to give a report by telling them to “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel…”
- The same command for the apostles was given to us to give a report of God in us, His blessings, His grace, his miracles performed in us so unworthily.
II. Isaiah Describes The Messiah
A) He will grow up
- Isaiah 53:2…(KJV) For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
- Let us note three things of Christ’s upbringing prophesied by Isaiah…
- “…as a tender plant,” Jamieson-Fausset-Brown commentary says this…Messiah grew silently and insensibly, as a sucker from an ancient stock, seemingly dead (namely, the house of David, then in a decayed state) (see on Isa 11:1).
- “…and as a root out of a dry ground:” The “root” being of the kingly line David. This really has a deep meaning that can be examined by an agricultural perspective as to mean “unwanted.” If you care about a plant, a yard, a tree…you will water it take care of it, nurture it until it is full grown. The reason for abandonment of the root in dry ground is because it is not cared for or about. Our world today has become much of the same concerning our Lord. They don’t care about Him anymore than the Jews of Jesus time did. Do you remember the words in John 1:46… “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” I mean This supposed Messiah called Jesus hung around a bunch of no account undesirables like fishermen and extortionists.
- “… he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” He will be a person that has not an attractive face or figure. God wants people to accept His son for what He is not what He looks like (The nature of the world.)
- The world has not changed one little bit. We are still attracted to beauty. You are nobody if you are ugly. You are nobody if you are not handsome. You are nobody if you have not money or fame. This is no different than the Jews look upon the Messiah. They expected someone such as their appointed King Saul, handsome and tall and wealthy. Jesus did not bring to the table a food prepared for the Kings the world expected to eat.
- 3) He is despised and rejected of men;” This describes the Messiah’s adult life in that He will be unpopular of most people. He will be constantly badgered and ridiculed by the elite (upper crust of folks) and religious leaders.
- Jesus was not a king in the eyes of those who expected Him to be of a different origin, a different race, a different background, a different upbringing, a different point of view, a different course of action towards the government.
- “… a man of sorrows,” He will have so much compassion for others that it leads to sorrow in His heart for those who do not understand or desire to “know Have an intimate relationship with)”
- “…and acquainted with grief:” Grief comes to a person who has been sorrowful. He was in sorrow and grief because he worked so hard at trying to get His own people to accept Him as the Son of the God that they worship. They just couldn’t see Him for who He was. Jesus came to save a people that didn’t feel like they needed to be saved. They were self-righteous.
- “and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” The world of so called “God’s children” did not respect God’s Son for who he was, especially on the cross. The Messiah they were expecting did not leave this world on a golden chariot. Their dream of a messiah did not end in a death that was becoming of a powerful rule and takeover of Rome. It ended in an ugly rugged crucifix as a result of a demeaning trial. They did not think very highly (esteem) of Jesus the Son of God.
III. The Passion of Christ Described By Isaiah
A) He has born our grief
- Isaiah 53:4) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
- The first part of this verse states the changed condition of the hearts of the Jews after the fact. They realized that he truly did bear their sorrow and grief.
- The sad thing was that they didn’t see Jesus as the Ark that brought salvation to Noah and his family and a new start for mankind. They did not see Jesus as the ram in the thicket near Abraham when he was being offering his son as a sacrifice. They did not see themselves as sinful. Much like the world today, they don’t believe they are doing nothing wrong. They believe that their works of being good, not killing anyone, not robbing banks or talking without profanity will get them salvation from hell.
- Let me ask you a question… “How many of you are truly grieving or sorrowful for your sin?” If you are truly sorry for your sins then you shouldn’t be to a point that it steals your joy of being a Christian. This was the work of Christ on the cross… “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:” Jesus Christ came to this earth to be ridiculed and mocked, and spat upon, to later be hung on a cross as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.
- True joy is experienced when a person makes a sacrifice for another to make them happy. God wants His children to be blessed (happy.)
- Do you know where I got that tid-bit of reality from? Look at John 15:11…(KJV) These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
- A true brother or sister in Christ will make sacrifices in their life for one another. This is “friendship.”
- I look at the name of the church that has allowed us to be a separate entity in their church building. It is for “our joy” in Christ that they have made a sacrifice.
IV. He has born our grief
A) He was wounded
- Let us look at our text in Isaiah 53 and verse 5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
- When Isaiah said that our Lord “was wounded” I do not believe he was talking in a physical sense only. He was wounded physically, spiritually, mentally and verbally.
- Let me share something with you…
- Remember that they rejected Him (Jesus). I don’t know about you, but as for me… I do not handle rejection well. I believe that is part of the human nature. We are not made to handle rejection.
- Jesus is rejected today because they rejected Him then (before).
- Get this…do you know the Hebrew word for Jesus is “Yeshua?”
- The rabbis through the years have changed His name by dropping the final “a” and now they call Him “Jeshu.” Jeshu is an acrostic meaning… “Let his name be blotted out.”
- This is the contemporary way of saying.. “We will not have this man to reign over us.” which is exactly what they said at Jesus crucifixion. “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”
- Do you want to know what “story of Jeshu” the rabbis are telling the Jews now…They are associating Jesus with Ben Stada and BenPandira. It goes like this… BenPandira (Jeshu’s father) and a woman named Miriam BenStada (Jeshu’s mother) who was a hairdresser had an adulterous affair with Joseph BenPandira who was a Roman mercenary that produced Yeshu.
- You see what’s happening here? They are claiming that Jesus was the illegitimate son of a Roman killer. These rabbis also claim that Jesus went to Egypt to learn magical arts (to write off His miracles) and lead men astray. This is in the Talmud (iT’s al mud!)
- The Talmud is a collection of debates and discussions in which the classical rabbis engaged such topics as Jewish law, ethics, traditions, values and etc.
- It reminds me of the history of the United States of America changing from believing that we have always been an “In God we trust” nation, to a nation of people with different beliefs and gods.
- Wounded many times can also be a result of being rejected and also forsaken.
- Isaiah says that Jesus “…was wounded for our transgressions.” He was forsaken by His own people.
- Not only was Jesus forsaken by many who followed Him but even worse His own apostles.
- Jesus was forsaken of the religious leaders, rulers, kings, and all those who many depend upon for guidance.
- Do you want to know what the religious leaders thought of Jesus? Look at John 7:45… Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?
- He was very bold – 46) The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Jesus spoke with authority. No one did that in the manner as Jesus did. Jesus did not back down.
- He was deceitful – 47) Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? The Pharisees felt they were above deceit. They thought themselves to be holier than others remember.
- He was trying to undermine their authority – 48) Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? Besides that, they thought that nobody important followed Jesus. His followers were figured to be people that were not considered to be educated well.
- He has cursed His followers – 49) But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Cursed in this sense means “to bring harm to” his followers. You see, in my observation of life, a person is only as good as their teacher. Who were the teachers of this time? The Pharisees, right? So in essence the Pharisees were cutting their own throats. They claimed that these were “…people who knoweth not the law.” If they didn’t know the law it was because they were not taught the law. Right? The Pharisees considered these followers of Jesus “accursed” because they followed Jesus Law and not the Pharisees law. Jesus’ rule was not so strict.
- He was not a prophet as He claimed – 52) They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. This shows you the ignorance of the Pharisees because they believed that Jonah was a prophet and he was from Galilee. Duh!
- To close out our study on Jesus being “wounded for our transgressions” the wounded also means a “physical” Isaiah said of Jesus in Isaiah 52:14 (KJV)…As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
- This means that no man that hung on the cross before was ever beaten, tortured, stripped, ridiculed, or rejected than Jesus.
B) He (Christ) bore our iniquity
- Look now at Isaiah 53 and verse 6a) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way;
- How many of us have gone astray? I believe that everyone claiming to be a Christian can honestly say… “Yes, I have gone astray.”
- What does it mean “to go astray?” It means to go off the original path.
- We have been taught the right way to go, the right things to say, the right things to do, the right things to think and dwell upon. But it gets old, it gets tiresome and boring.
- It is truly amazing how much we as humans are like our animal friends “the sheep.”
- I often wonder why scientist use rats for testing. Why do they not use sheep?
- Sheep have a tenancy to follow their shepherd pretty well until they get bored or tired and start to wander off from the flock or fold. This is what Isaiah meant when he said that “…we have turned everyone to his own way;”
- This is most frustrating for the shepherd when He knows the right grass (food) the sheep should eat, the right path to be walking on without hurting their feet or causing injury, the right time for the sheep to do certain things. The shepherd gets frustrated when they go their own way? WHY? Because he knows what awaits them for not being obedient… misery, pain, and depression. Who wants that? No one.
- Note the last part of Isaiah 53:6b…and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
- Do you remember the description of the sin of “iniquity?” Perversion. To pervert the truth. This is what Jesus took upon Himself, our perversion of the truth. We think we know the truth, the Pharisees thought they knew the truth.
- What man must realize is what Paul realized and explained so well in I Corinthians 13:12 (KJV) …For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
- On this earth we see through a “dark glass.” In other words we really do not see as we think we see. I don’t know how many times I have experienced a person just dead set on being right about something and later find out they were wrong (this includes me also). We claim… “I saw it with my own eyes.” Or “I was there too.”
- Many times people are falsely accused of something because the person judging them thinks they know them. But they are looking through a dark glass.
C) He was oppressed and afflicted
- Now back in our text of Isaiah 53:7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
- I want us to look a little closer at these two words that we often overlook.
- The word “oppressed” means… to burden with hard rules
- The word “afflicted” means… to cause great hurt or misery
- Jesus our example of being a godly person, an example of holiness shows us true “self control” here in Isaiah’s description of the messiah “…yet he opened not his mouth:” Christ bore our grief, iniquity, and was wounded, oppressed, and afflicted and never opened His mouth to cry out in pain, or yell obscenities to those reviling Him, or even glare at them with daggers.
- I honestly do not think I could have done that. Could you. I mean we all have a breaking point, a certain threshold of pain. Jesus threshold was off the charts.
- Did you note that Isaiah mentioned this twice in this one verse “…he openeth not his mouth” It was noteworthy. Sit up and take notice of Jesus response to all this abuse.
- How many times do we have a “pity party” for ourselves because someone has not treated us with respect, or someone has slandered our name, or someone has stolen something from us or someone has done what we asked them to do.
- In a real live Jewish offering of a lamb for sacrifice, the unspotted lamb’s mouth is tied shut. This is done so that the lamb cannot cry out and create fear in the others or cause grief to those that have come close to the animal.
- I believe that it takes a person of great control to be able to withhold yelling, screaming, or ranting when being tormented. He did it for us.
- By the way in this verse you will see that it said “…and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,” this does not mean the lamb was stupid or ignorant, but rather it means “he could not speak.”
D) He was taken from prison
- Now look at Isaiah 53:8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
- This is hard to understand when Isaiah said that the Messiah would be “taken from prison.” Jesus was never in prison. Why did Isaiah say that.
- Look at the account in Matthew 28:11…Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12) And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13) Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
- You see, a tomb (grave) is like a prison. It is a secure place for the body and not an easy escape.
- To “be taken” is like stealing. They had thought that the disciples had stolen Christ’s body.
E) Made His Grave with the wicked
- Look at Isaiah 53:9…And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
- Because of Christ’s disgraceful death (Being hung on a cross), the Jews intended on a wicked burial alongside the thieves. But instead a rich man’s tomb was offered.
- Jesus was buried in the tomb of the rich man named Joseph of Arimathea (Matt. 27:57-60)
- “…because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” This is the reason for an honorable place to be buried. He was not a violent person, nor was he deceitful as the Pharisees claimed.
F) It pleased the LORD
- May I say, that this should be the goal of every child of God… To please the LORD (God).
- Look now at Isaiah 53:10…Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
- This sounds sadistic doesn’t it? God was pleased to bruise His Son, pleased to put Him to grief. It sounds like God enjoyed it.
- We must be careful not to misunderstand the Word of God. The word pleased here is better rendered as “satisfied.” The entire holiness of God demands a proper sacrifice. We can know this from the beginning with Cain and Abel’s sacrifices made.
- In Closing let us read ...Isaiah 53:11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.