Tom: In this segment called “Understanding the Scriptures” we’ve been looking at the doctrine of salvation, a foundational doctrine to what we’re all about as Christians. And I think it’s been really informative—I’m—just listening to you Dave, about some of these things is just really blessed me and I hope our listeners are blessed as well.
What I’d like to talk about today really has to do with the death of Christ, what that means. And maybe for this program and the next program, I’d like to go over Isaiah 53, I mean the entire chapter. The passage here just underscores what Christ did. I mean we are talking about the Son of God here.
You know as Charles Wesley wrote, “Amazing love, how can it be that thou my God wouldst die for me.” And in these passages, it’s staggering. Dave, I’m just going to take it verse by verse and maybe we can comment on it.
It begins, [Isaiah 53]“Who believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant…”
Dave, who’s the scripture talking about?
Dave: Well it’s talking about the servant from verse 13 in the previous chapter.
Tom, the Bible is so fantastic! “Who hath believed our report?” Yeah, who has? And of course, the report is all about Jesus. As Paul says in Romans 1, this is the gospel of God that he promised before by his promise in the Holy Scriptures concerning His Son Jesus. So this is who he’s talking about. “Who has believed that? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”
Now we’re talking about God’s power and majesty. People want some kind of a physical miracle, a healing or whatever. The greatest miracle is to forgive sins. To transform a sinner into a saint. And so, “To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” Where is his strength and where does this salvation come from?
Well, he comes in a person. He shall grow up before him, that is God, the Father, the Son grows up before the Father, and so you hear the voice at the baptism of Jesus, the voice from heaven, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”
Tom: Right, some 400 years before.
Dave: Yes, right. God said you despise my name, you pollute my altar, you offer unacceptable sacrifices. Israel had turned so far away from God they were in apostasy and suddenly, out of this dry ground comes this one.
This next thing is so often misunderstood, I think. “He hath neither form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him; there is no beauty that we should desire him.” Now it doesn’t mean that Jesus was ugly. Jesus in fact, was the handsomest man that ever lived. He was perfect. He had to be perfection. He’s the perfect man. It’s sin that brings a blight and blemish upon mankind. He’s the last Adam. He’s like Adam, created fresh in the virgin’s womb by the hand of God as Adam was created in the Garden. So how do we understand this? If we would just turn real fast to—
Tom: And I hope people who have their Bibles at home, especially for this segment of the program, I hope they will search the scriptures with us. First Samuel 16, David is a wonderful type of Christ. He’s a king. In this chapter, he’s despised by his brothers. He is so despised even by his father apparently, that he gives him the most menial task taking care of the sheep out there. Nobody else wants to do it. Yet David is so humble, he’s willing to do it. And he is considered to be so worthless that when Samuel comes to Bethlehem and he tells Jesse, “I want your sons to come. We’re going to have a feast, bring all your sons.” Jesse doesn’t even bring David. Because God has told Samuel that one of Jesse’s sons is to be the king. And he has his sons pass before him. They are very handsome, strong guys, but each one God says to the prophet Samuel, this is not the one. And they’ve all passed before him. Seven of them, and Samuel is—
Tom: He’s perplexed.
Dave: He’s perplexed. He’s confused. None of them God, but you sent me here. So then he says, “Well is it possible you have another son?”
“Yes, he’s out there with the sheep.” Bring him. Okay, so he anoints him. This is—God says this is the one. Now what I find so interesting, is verse 18. Now you know the story, Saul, you’ve got problems. And they want to find somebody that can play a harp and calm his spirit and so forth. So their looking in Israel to find one and now here’s one man. This is a picture of the insight of the Holy Spirit. Seeing not as the flesh sees, but as God sees.
“Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing.” He’s the greatest harpist in Israel. “He is a mighty valiant man and a man of war….” You get your Sunday school materials and it’s got a little skinny teenager, scrawny David.
Dave: No, Saul gives him his armor. It says that Saul was head and shoulders above Israel. Well then David must have been as tall as he was and every bit as strong as Saul. Because it wasn’t that his armor—David doesn’t say “That armor doesn’t fit me.” Then Saul wouldn’t have given it to him, if it didn’t fit. No, it fits. But he’s never used this kind of stuff. He hasn’t proved it and he doesn’t trust in it. He trusts in God.
But anyway, “…He’s a might valiant man, a man of war, prudent in matters, and a comely person, (he’s handsome) and the Lord is with him.”
Now you couldn’t say more about a person than that. And yet David is despised. See so, I think that’s how we understand what it says about Jesus. He was not voted most likely to succeed in the graduating class there in Nazareth. Because he was despised by people. This is the creator. He’s manifesting the very character of God, the love, the patience, the holiness, the qualities of God himself and man who’s separated from God, hates him; rebels against him. My understanding and that’s how we would understand this. In fact Tom, as you know, the battle breaks out with the Philistines. Saul sends David back! This is the greatest war here in Israel. This is the guy who could conquer Goliath and he’s not afraid of him, everybody else is, Saul sends him back! Because he doesn’t think the guy is capable of being his armor bearer. Tom, there is a blindness to the things of God; a blindness to the truth; a blindness to the real beauty of a godly character that blinds people to everything else. And I think that’s the only way we can understand this verse. There’s no beauty that WE should desire him. WE creatures, separated from God. We don’t desire him. But he is desirable to God and he is the perfect man.
Tom: Dave, I’m excited about this opportunity to go through Isaiah. And I hope our listeners, I hope they invite their friends to sit in and listen and write to us. Let us know your thoughts about these things. But it’s a wonderful opportunity to go through God’s Word. We’re going to do this. We’re going to stay with Chapter 53 for the next week or two. And I think they’ll be blessed. I know they’ll be blessed.