Advent Series Day 10: Isaiah 53

December 14, 2017

Scripture Reading:

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied,
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Questions for children:
What clues can you find in this text that help you know it’s talking about the Promised One?
What is he called in this chapter? (Hint: it’s the same title/role we discovered yesterday)
Which of his other roles/titles does this text point to?

Explanation and Meditation:

Today’s text doesn’t need much explanation. On this side of history we know the Promised one came as the suffering Servant. We know that as God’s Priest, he offered his own life as a sacrifice to pay for the sins of the world. And we know that this King’s glorious enthronement came not with a regal procession, but after a lonely, bloody path up Golgotha with a cross on his back. Israel, however, accustomed to prophecies about a King who would come in military victory had trouble reconciling this picture of a despised man, devoid of physical beauty and punished by God with their visions of the Coming King.

But all three elements–Servant, Priest and King– are right here in Isaiah’s prophetic poem. We see the Servant, obediently suffering under the will of God. We see the Priest interceding for our sins by offering his own life as a sacrifice. We’re reminded of his Kingship when we see God rewarding him with the “light of life” and his “portion among the great” after his death.

This is that baby given to the nation of Israel to fill the throne of David. This is the son who would be called “Mighty God.” Isaiah 49 introduced us to the anguish he’d feel on his path to the kingship and here in these verses that anguish is described for us. He would be rejected and hated. God would punish, strike, afflict, pierce and crush him to pay for the sins of his people. But it is in his suffering, death, and renewed life, that he’d destroy the power of the snake and earn the right to rule forever!

Song of Hope: Immanuel by Stuart Townend

From the squalor of a borrowed stable,
By the Spirit and a virgin’s faith;
To the anguish and the shame of scandal
Came the Saviour of the human race.
But the skies were filled with the praise of heaven,
Shepherds listen as the angels tell
Of the Gift of God come down to man
At the dawning of Immanuel.

King of heaven now the Friend of sinners,
Humble servant in the Father’s hands,
Filled with power and the Holy Spirit,
Filled with mercy for the broken man.
Yes, He walked my road and He felt my pain,
Joys and sorrows that I know so well;
Yet His righteous steps give me hope again –
I will follow my Immanuel.

Through the kisses of a friend’s betrayal,
He was lifted on a cruel cross;
He was punished for a world’s transgressions,
He was suffering to save the lost.
He fights for breath, He fights for me,
Loosing sinners from the claims of hell;
And with a shout our souls are free –
Death defeated by Immanuel.

Now He’s standing in the place of honour,
Crowned with glory on the highest throne,
Interceding for His own beloved
Till His Father calls to bring them home!
Then the skies will part as the trumpet sounds
Hope of heaven or the fear of hell;
But the Bride will run to her Lover’s arms,
Giving glory to Immanuel!

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