ISAIAH 53 – THE STORY OF THE CROSS – GOOD FRIDAY
I want us to go back to the Old Testament and reflect on the prophecy of Isaiah 53, which tells the story of Jesus’ atonement for our sins long before it happened. We will consider the Story of the Cross.
THE SIMPLICITY OF THE CROSS – Vs. 2
Vss. 1-2 – A tender plant is a shoot. Just a little wee thing.
Jesus came simply. He was God, but was born to the home of a humble carpenter through the Virgin Mary.
He was of the Kingly line of David, but did not have the benefits of living in a King’s house.
He was as a root coming out of a dry ground.
Think of Israel at that the time. The once proud nation was now a desert politically and spiritually.
Israel this time was under Roman domination. Israel really did not control its own affairs. Rome ruled, and what Rome said was the law that superseded all other laws. Their political system was a desert.
Israel at this time was also a desert spiritually. They worshipped in the temple, but many were entwined in a liberalism that didn’t believe in the resurrection or in a conservatism that led to legalism.
Not only did the Israel have God’s law, but it added many man-made writings that interpreted the law. They took their man-made ideas and in many ways placed them on equal footing with God’s Word.
It says here that Jesus had no form nor comeliness. That doesn’t mean Jesus was ugly. Although as the perfect man, I believe Jesus was good looking, but I don’t feel that he looked much different than any other Jewish man. Contrary to some of the classic art works, Jesus did not walk around with a glow or halo on His head. He simply looked the part of a humble servant.
There is another way that Jesus had no form nor comeliness.
It goes along with the last phrase in Vs. 2 – and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
When he was on the cross, suffering for our sins, there was no beauty to be found in what people could see. Isaiah 52:14
The birth and life of Jesus were in many ways simple.
His appearance on the cross was also simple.
THE SHAME OF THE CROSS – Vs. 3
Why did Jesus go to the cross?
Yes, to die for our sins.
But Jesus was nailed to a cross, because He was despised by the very people he came to save, especially their leadership.
Going along with Jesus being despised, He was also rejected. John 1:11
We are told here that Jesus was a man of sorrows and aquatinted with grief. Jesus took upon his shoulders the sins of the world. In order to die for sin he had to bear the sin.
…and we hid as it were, our faces from him.
The very people he came to save hid their faces from Jesus.
That’s a shame! And yet today, people who Jesus came to save our still turning their backs on Him by failing to believe in him as their Savior.
It says, he was despised and we esteemed him not. Luke 23:35-37, Luke 23:39
THE SACRIFICE OF THE CROSS – Vss. 4-6
Vs. 4 – The Jews thought of Jesus as being judged by God, that is, stricken and smitten by God.
But that is not what was truly happening.
What was really happening was that Jesus was bearing on the cross the griefs and sorrows caused by our sin. The words griefs and sorrows mean pain and sickness. He was taking the pain and sickness of our sins upon His own shoulders. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Vs. 5 – Jesus was wounded and bruised for our transgressions and iniquities.
Jesus was chastised so we could have peace with God.
Somebody had to appease God for our sins.
This is what Jesus did. Romans 5:9, 5:1
Vs. 6 – Like sheep every one of us have gone astray. Romans 3:23
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Everyone one of us has done our own sinful thing and gone our own sinful way.
In love God laid our sins on to His Son. It is with His stripes, His beatings, His wounds that we are healed.
THE SILENCE OF THE CROSS – Vss. 7-9
I see two kinds of silence here.
· Silence of Words – Vs. 7
When Jesus was asked concerning his identity, He answered.
When Jesus was falsely accused, mocked, and beaten, he remained silent.
He took it quietly.
It is often hard for us to take abuse quietly.
Jesus took the most abuse of all, and took it quietly.
· Silence of Death – Vss. 8-9
Jesus was cut off from the land of the living. His voice was now silent.
God allowed Jesus to be buried in a rich man’s tomb.
He had earned it.
THE SATISFACTION OF THE CROSS – Vss. 10-12
There is not just sorrow in Isaiah 53.
Isaiah 53 ends on a high note.
For all the grief found in Isaiah 53, there is much satisfaction.
I see satisfaction here in three ways:
· Satisfaction of Resurrection – Vs. 10
God was certainly satisfied with the work of Jesus on the cross.
Notice, that because God was satisfied, “he shall prolong his days.”
Jesus’ Days were prolonged by His resurrection from the dead. Revelation 1:18
Also notice it says that Jesus shall see his seed.
That would be his descendants.
Jesus had no physical descendants.
But Jesus has plenty of descendants.
Every person who places their faith and trust in Christ is a descendant of Jesus who has the same hope of eternal life. John 14:1-3, 19
And the neat thing is that there is still room for more descendants. Revelation 22:17 says, And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Notice also in verse 10 that the pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
I am sure that there are many ways to interpret this phrase, but I want to suggest one specific idea.
Where is Jesus right now?
He’s in Heaven sitting at the right hand of God.
He is prospering at the right hand of God. Romans 8:34, Psalm 110:1
· Satisfaction of Justification – Vs. 11
Vs. 11 – May I remind you again of Romans 5:1- Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, whoever has placed their faith in Christ has eternal life.
Jesus has justified millions of people, including most, if not all in this room.
Jesus has every reason to be satisfied with the wonderful redemption He has wrought for so many.
· Satisfaction of Glory – Vs. 12, Philippians 2:9-11
Jesus has a portion with the great.
He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.