The Servant, Suffering for you and for me

We have a Father in heaven above,/ with eyes full of mercy and a heart full of love,/ He really cares when your head is hung low,/ consider the lilies and then you will know.

“Consider the fact – that you have a Father in heaven above. Consider My attitude towards you and all My children, an attitude of special care – I made you, I rescued you, I have always provided for you- spiritually as well as physically – that is Me! I do really care about you, just as you can see I care for the whole of My creation – I see when your head is hung low . I want to pick it up – I want you to start rejoicing – from the deepest part of your heart. You cannot start rejoicing when your head is hanging. So, by faith, trusting in Me completely – in My Fatherhood – pick it up and start rejoicing. I want you to fly with Me – stand on the roof-top and shout ‘This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it'”

Today with Easter approaching, we come to one of the most precious sections of the Old Testament; Isaiah 53. It was from this chapter that the Ethiopian eunuch was reading, in Acts 8 that led him to the Lord. There is so much in this chapter. I am going to give a few pointers and invite you to soak yourselves in it.

We start at 52:13. which brackets the whole section with vs with 53:12a at the other end. Up till now the identity of the “Servant” has not always been clear. Sometimes it seems to be the remnant of believers, sometimes the prophet and sometimes a figure far in the future. These bracketed vv clearly show us the identity of this Servant. He is High and exalted and given a portion among the great. It can be no other than the Messiah Himself.

Secondly we see that the whole thrust of the section is on the substitutionary nature of the servant’s suffering and death. This is the central doctrine of our faith. Over an over He is depicted as marred, stricken, rejected, oppressed and ultimately assigned to the grave. But His sufferings have a specific purpose. Vs 4 He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows. Vs 5 He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, the punishment which brought us peace was on Him. Vs 6b The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Vs 10b The Lord makes Him a guilt offering.

Now I want to take you back to 51:22b “see I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger”. That is the cup, as we saw, of God’s wrath. God, Having reminded us of the reality of His wrath, then says He has taken the cup away (prophetically). Having shown us this important fact He now shows how He has done that in ch 53. He has asked Jesus to take it on our behalf. He was the only one that could do it, because He had never transgressed. Now the whole of Ch 53 depicts various aspects of Jesus suffering and death. How intense it was. Drawn out, ongoing, till He died.

I want to ask you to stop, as we approach Easter and consider. The cup of God’s wrath which is described as making us stagger, is what awaits every person who does not avail themselves of this vicarious death. By showing the extent of Jesus’ suffering, a picture of what God’s wrath is really like, should come home to us . That wrath that we have now escaped. In the inadequate words after taking communion service, “And be thankful”.

Thankful! How can we ever thank Him enough? There is no way we can repay Him. We must simply respond in love and thanksgiving. “Could my zeal no respite know/ Could my tears forever flow/ all for sin could not atone/Thou must save and thou alone/ Nothing in my hand I bring/Simply to thy cross I cling”. (Rock of Ages cleft for me). I invite you to come and cast yourself alongside me this Easter at the foot of the cross where He accomplished this and express our deepest thanksgiving, together.

4 Replies to “The Servant, Suffering for you and for me”

  1. Thankful! Thankful! Thankful! “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling”. A favourite of my late brother-in-Christ: Jim Thorne. Rock of Ages one of the favourites St. Paul’s and St Stephens churches. How I miss the sweet fellowship there! But now I have Ian’s Blog and will join you at the foot of the cross this Easter.

  2. May our hearts flow with love for Christ and may we worship Him with every Fibre of our being as His adopted children. In our Holy Lord Jesus Christ our Lord and Father is moving towards us We are blessed. Lord Jesus Christ You are the only hope the treasure of treasures.!You alone can satisfy our hearts .It is the Father ‘s Holy will, that all.nations will come and bow down before You. All.glory and authority be to You forever! Amen

  3. Through the death of Christ the Lord demonstrates His righteousness, He is absolutely truthful to His covenant and from an eternal view this is His Holy will to bring believers in Christ to glory.
    “God set forth Jesus as an atonent Through FAITH in His blood , to show His righteousness in passing over sins already committed. Through God’s forbearance, He demonstrates His righteousness at the present time- that He Himself is just and also the justifier of the one who puts his trust in Jesus. ” Romans 3 25 26

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