Tom: The topic that we've been looking at for a number of weeks, and that we'll continue to look at because it's so foundational to the faith; and that's the doctrine of Salvation. Last week we started to look at the book of Isaiah, particularly chapter 53 which is just an awesome passage, not that you could pick and choose and say one verse is better than another, these are all inspired by God. But this is particularly awesome to me because it really deals with the God of the universe becoming a man and dying for our sins. Last week I quoted from Charles Westley, "Amazing love how could it be, that thou my God wouldst die for me." That's just tremendous. And this, these passages in Isaiah 53 spell it out in a way that it's overwhelming. Again we're talking about God here. Now Dave, we left off with verse 3, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him: he was despised, and we esteemed him not." Now last week we talked about that there was no beauty in him we went to the previous verse but....
Dave: No beauty from our standpoint.
Dave: But this is Gods beloved son in whom he was well pleased, the perfect Man without a blemish, and yet he's despised and rejected of men. There was something about Him that was so God-like because he is God. It's staggering that God comes to His world that He made, to the creatures that He has made, and the God that made them is hated.
Tom: You know it's funny but, in terms of Godly purity, that can be offensive to us. I think that's what you were getting at last week and... you know what I'm saying?
Dave: It's condemning.
Tom: Yeah that's what I mean. If I'm a, you know, a sinful person I'm not going to be attracted to something, even physically, that brings conviction.
Dave: Mmhmm. Yeah Christ was, Christ is, but of course as he walked this earth in a special way he was the Light of the World. And his very demeanor, his very conduct, everything that he said and did just... it must have been frightening really, to face perfection. And it shows up every flaw in our character. Something about Christ that was just beyond anything that we could be, and yet something about him, that he's the last Adam, that would hark back to what God wanted man to be and we all know that we ought to be. So his very presence would condemn us.
Tom: The next part of the verse, "a man of sorrows." Could this have something to do with just what we're talking about? We have Jesus who is absolutely pure looking upon sin, seeing the results of what sin has done to a creation that he said "it is good, it is good, it is good, it is very good." The other verse I'm thinking about, the shortest verse in the Bible, "Jesus wept." Why did he weep? Why was he a man of sorrow? Because death had entered in, took the life of Lazarus.
Dave: He had a sorrow that goes beyond any sorrow that we can have; incomprehensible to us because he understands the awesomeness of sin and the eternal consequences of it, and furthermore because he loves us. There's nothing so heartrending as being rejected by someone that you love, and wanting to help this one that you love, and everything that you try to do for them they reject it. And here he is, he's despised, he's rejected, he wants to bring life. "I am come" he said "that they might have life. That they might have it more abundantly." He said to the rabbis, "You search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life but they testify of me! But you won't come to me." So his sorrow must have been just beyond our comprehension, although we can understand some of the elements of it. But it says, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Amazing. That he would enter in to our humanity and that he would as the Man, he's the second Man the Bible says, the last Adam because it will not, this isn't going to happen again and again. He's the progenitor of a new race, but he's the second Man. There was never anyone who walked this earth, since Adam, who deserved to be called a Man, because Adam was created in the image of God. And that image has been warped and defiled, man was a fallen creature, he was dead where he was supposed to be alive, and now here comes the second Man and he saw the horror, the tragedy of warped, deformed, defiled individuals all around him. He created Adam. And here these are the descendants of Adam. And he sees into their hearts, he sees into the, you could say, the cesspool of iniquity in the mind and in the soul and the spirit of man. Man of whom God had to say that the imagination of his heart is only evil continually. And I believe that there was a greater sorrow about that. He saw the plight that Satan had brought upon this world and men following a liar. I mean if you have a loved one who's following a liar, who's deceiving them and leading them to destruction, you've got a lot of sorrow. I think that is the sorrow that he had. But he came to bear our griefs and to pay the penalty for our sins, to bring us back to God.
Tom: Now this verse 4 as you quoted most of it, we're starting to enter in here, we're starting to see a picture of the cross. And this is particularly amazing demonstrating this is God's book this is God's Word because Isaiah writes this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, some seven hundred and fifty years before the cross-- crucifixion was a form of capital punishment.
Dave: We don't have the cross in as much detail as we have in Psalm 22 "they pierced my hands and my..."
Tom: That's a thousand years before, right.
Dave: "They pierced my hand and my feet." But he was wounded, verse 5, he was wounded for our transgressions. He said, well verse 4, "we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." We thought what he was enduring was Gods judgment. And when the rabbis nailed him to the cross, or had him nailed to the cross, they mocked him. And they were putting him up there because he said he was God. Some people say that well, Jesus never claimed to be God and that was why he was crucified. John 10 they take up stones to stone him and Jesus says, "I've done many good deeds. For which of these good deeds do you stone me?" They said, "For a good deed we stone thee not, but thou being a man makest thyself out to be God." That was blasphemy, that was the ultimate blasphemy. So they considered that it was Gods judgment was upon him and indeed Gods judgment was because he took our place. He was wounded for our trangressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our piece was upon him and with his stripes we are healed. By the way we need to come back next week or some week after that, this is not healing and the attonement, healing of sickness. You get that in verse 4 but this is the healing of sin.
Tom: This is reconciliation.
Dave: Right. Tom, maybe we could make a suggestion out there, people could type this out on a piece of paper, give it to your Jewish friend and ask them who they think it is talking about. I guarantee you that they would almost all say that Jesus...
Tom: When you say type it out, don't put where you found it (Dave: Right) just put the words. Ask them who this may be referring to.
Dave: Right. And they think it's written by some Christian and it's about Jesus undoubtedly, then you can tell them, no this is about your great prophet Isaiah and this is what he said about the Messiah because the servant is the Messiah. You can't get away from it somebody is going to be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquity. Somebody is going to die in our place. Verse 9, "He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death;" I'm jumping ahead. But this one is going to die in payment for the penalty of our sins and it pleased Jehovah, the Lord, to bruise him it says. So Gods judgment is coming upon him, not just what men are doing to him, but Gods judgment is going to be upon him in our place, to pay the penalty for our sins so that we could be forgiven. What a picture we have of the cross, of Christ, and of our redemption-- I don't think you can escape it.
Tom: Dave I just want to add one thing to that. Of all the religions, of all the gods who are being presented as being true gods, is there any who are dying for those who worship them?
Dave: None. Not one, only Jesus himself.