Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Redemmer - Isaiah 53:4

Isaiah 53:4 "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."

I cannot do this chapter justice. It is a prophecy of Christ's suffering and his nature. He would come, not as a mighty king but, as a lowly citizen of Israel yielding to the sorrows and grief of man. Yet, He was God manifested in the flesh. It is a difficult concept if you are not a Christian. Even then, it requires that we reach deep within our hearts to try to understand this kind of love.

v2 "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."

I believe this speaks of Jesus being formed in the womb and his birth as the shepherds saw him. He would be conceived of God 'made of a woman'. It was indeed a miracle but not hard for God. He did after all take clay and form man then made woman from a rib of man. Without belief there will be no acceptance of such miracles.

Doesn't this sound like the life of Jesus? v3"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."

In the previous chapter, we were told to Hearken, Awake, sit up straight and learn that a redeemer is coming and Zion will shine again. Jesus was the vehicle of this recovery.

His suffering: v5"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."

We have long concluded that man cannot save himself from his rebellion against God. Better known as sin against God. It is like a man caught in quicksand, beyond the reach of a limb or a vine. He is sinking without hope of help from man or himself. Then God reaches down with a way to reconcile man to God. He provides a hand to reach out to and it is a strong hand that can pull him out of his situation if man will but reach up and take it.

He could say the hand is not there and die but that would not be the sensible thing to do.

v9 "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." Matt.27:57 also.

What follows is the 'mystery' of the will of God and the character of God. I cannot fully understand nor explain it but this is how I see it.

God is righteous and cannot stand nor will he tolerate sin. He is like the judge who has a law that he must go by. This is the crime and this is the required punishment. But God is also full of love and compassion for man. So how does he reconcile his demand for not sinning with his love. He sends His son to pay the penalty for man's sin. He came as a man but lived a perfect life so that he would be a pure sacrifice acceptable to God. See the epistles. Hebrews would help.

v10 "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; (I believe because it was a way to redeem man, not because he found pleasure in 'bruising' his son.) 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. (speaking of the resurrection - that Jesus would suffer but when the price was paid he would live to see the results of his sacrifice - many children.)

v12 "Therefore (because Jesus was willing and able to reconcile God with man and was obedient to the Father's will) 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." See Phil 2:9, Col. 2:15

There lies the story of Jesus as told by Isaiah. We now know the conclusion of the matter. It is up to the individual to reach up and accept the hand that paid such a great price for redemption.

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