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Oct 14, 2018

Experiencing our Savior in Suffering...His & Ours

Passage: Isaiah 52:12-53:12

Preacher: John Repsold

Series: Mining the Prophets

Keywords: endurance, hope, isaiah, jesus, jesús, prophets, suffering

Summary:

This introductory message to our series on the prophets looks at the kind of Savior Isaiah foretold hundreds of years before the coming of Jesus. Just what gamut of suffering did Jesus experience? How can that encourage us in the midst of suffering? What does God want to do with our sufferings? Check this passage out!

Detail:

Experiencing Our Savior in Suffering…Both His & Ours

#1 in Mining the Prophets Series

Isaiah 52:12-53:12

October 14, 2018

Intro: 

  • New series and how we decided to do it: preaching team, O.T., leading up to Christmas>>How the O.T. points to Jesus.
  • Luke 24:27—“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
  • WHY?
    • We need to marvel at this Book/Bible and its amazing continuity/unity of message/prophecies.
    • We need to see the larger scope of God’s plan with mankind.
    • We need to understand God’s whole nature—his longsuffering, patience, mercy as well as certain judgment of sin, sinners and wicked nations.
    • We need to see our Savior Jesus in ALL of God’s word.
    • We need to prepare for growing injustice, hardship, suffering, persecution, prison and even death.

BACKGROUND for today’s book--Isaiah

  • Written by Isaiah whose name means “The Lord saves”.
  • Began ministry in 740 B.C. Wrote 700 years before Jesus.
  • Wrote at the same time as Hosea,, Micah and Amos.
  • Was said to have been sawed in half under the reign of Manasseh (unsubstantiated Jewish tradition from The Ascension of Isaiah; c.f. Heb. 11:37)
  • Was a married man with at least 2 sons.
  • Lived primarily in Jerusalem
  • Had his greatest influence/success under King Hezekiah.
  • Lived during the expansion of the Assyrian Empire and decline of Israel.
  • Warned Judah of impending judgment and captivity at the hands of the Babylonians unless there was repentance and turning to God.
  • Is one of 4 “Major Prophets”—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel. Called “major” because of size of their books…contrasted with the 12 “Minor Prophets” (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, 

Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi).

READ Isaiah 52:12-53:12 line-by-line and explain any difficult phrases.

  • Written in genre of
  • Identity of “my servant”: Israel? (The sinner would have to be the sin-bearer if this is the case!)  Messiah? 
  • 52:14—How many have seen Passion of the Christ? Did you enjoy it?  How many had to force yourself to watch it?  Images you want to go to when you are hungry for beauty?  Hardly! 
  • 52:15—“sprinkle many” or “Amaze/surprise many”?
  • 53:1—“No one every imagined this kind of savior!”
  • 53:2—humble beginnings; came out of nowhere, a dry time, a desolate place.
  • “no beauty or majesty”… “nothing in his appearance to attract us”

ILL:  Abraham Lincoln was famous for having a rather awkward, comely, misshapen and homely face and features.  Some contend that, upon the recommendation of a girl who wrote to him after his election, he grew his beard to hide his wrinkled and homely face. 

Historical accounts seem to agree that, accused during the Lincoln-Douglas debates of being two-faced, he shot back: “If I had another face, do you think I would wear this one?” 

He also appeared to enjoy telling the story of the hideously ugly man who once confronted him with a raised rifle as he rode alone through the woods. “Halt!” shouted the armed man. When Lincoln nervously asked why he was being threatened, the man replied: “I vowed if I ever met a man uglier than myself I would shoot him on the spot.” To which Lincoln replied, “If I am uglier than you, shoot away!”

At one point in his Presidency a painter completed a remarkably accurate portrait of Lincoln.  As Lincoln studied the result, he looked up and remarked that it was “horribly like” the original.  [Found at https://www.irishtimes.com/news/abraham-lincoln-the-ugly-truth-1.967084 on 10/12/2018]

  • 53:4—willingly chosen, not imposed upon him.
  • 53:5—substitutionary work
  • 53:7—silent by choice; allowing injustice to roll over him so that God’s justice won’t roll over us.
  • 53:8—“cut off from the land of the living” = death
  • 53:10—the mysterious “will” of God! “His offspring”—you and me and every redeemed sinner!
  • 53:11—the resurrection! What “knowledge” is this that enabled Jesus to “justify many… and bear their iniquities”?

This is all rooted in the O.T. sacrificial system of a substitute sacrifice for a guilty sinner. 

GROUP DISCOVERY:  Divide into groups of 4-8 and engage in the following instructions and questions.

  1. Find and list as many different kinds of human suffering as you can in this passage. (5 minutes)
    • 52:14—disfigurement, bodily mutilation
    • 53:2—bullying, ridicule, ostracizing for physical features and plain appearance.
    • 53:3—Despised/hated and rejected/cast out/ ostracized by people
    • Life full of suffering
    • Well acquainted with pain
    • Held in low esteem by people; socially despised
    • 53:4—pain and suffering
    • Misunderstood and mischaracterized as abandoned, beat down and punished by God.
    • 53:5—crucified/pierced/tortured for someone else’s wrongs.
    • Injustice of suffering for another person’s crimes/sins/ failures.
    • 53:6, 8--Punished for another’s failure/sin.
    • 53:7—completely unjust victim of oppression, injustice, suffering; suffering in silence.
    • 53:8—Injustice, oppression by powerful people; death; abandonment by all other humans; punished for another’s wrongs
    • 53:9—disgraced in death and burial
    • Treated wrongly as if he were a foul-mouthed, violent offender.
    • 53:10—abandonment by the Lord/Father; suffering as recipient of God’s wrath.
    • 53:12—agonizing death
    • Falsely accused as an evil person when was completely innocent and faultless.
    • Carrying other’s sins and sicknesses (53:4, 5)
  1. What does this passage teach about the Lord/God (the Father)?
    • 52:13—God exalts those who are humble and suffer for others.
    • 52:15—God surprised people by how He works.
    • 53:1—God is powerful/strong
    • 53:10—Sovereign, powerful, perfect in plan
    • 53:11—has resurrection power
  2. What does it teach about God the Son/the Suffering Servant? (10 minutes)
    • 52:13—He is wise
    • He is exalted
    • He endured extreme torture
    • He will surprise and overwhelm the world’s greatest powers and leaders.
    • 53:2—He is humble (not displaying his glory but hiding it behind plain humanity)
    • He’s not
    • 53:3—not vindictive; he’s patient; longsuffering
    • 53:4-5—caring, kind, substitutionary, loving, longsuffering, generous, compassionate, full of grace and mercy…
    • 53:7—meek, humble, patient, determined to save us at the cost of his reputation, extremely sacrificial
    • 53:9—completely non-violent
    • Completely pure in speech.
    • 53:10—Submissive
    • Working for the will of the Lord
    • 53:11—enduring, righteous, all-knowing, other-focused, sacrificial
    • 53:12—powerful, great glorious, strong
    • Mediator, intercessor, substitutionary sacrifice
  3. What does it teach us about people/human beings? (5 minutes)
    • 52:14—outwardly-focused, judgmental
    • 52:15—limited in power and understanding; stratified
    • 53:2—judging based on appearance, not heart or character
    • 53:3—spiteful, rejecting, hurtful
    • 53:4—incomplete and inaccurate judgment of people
    • 53:5—sinners, transgressors of God’s law, sick
    • 53:6—sinful, uncommitted, deceived, faulty, wandering, stupid, self-destructive, stubborn, rebellious
    • 53:7—oppressors, violent, hurtful, abusive
    • 53:8—judgmental, unjust, murderous, sinful
    • 53:9—wicked, greedy, violent, foul-mouthed
    • 53:11—full of evil and iniquity, guilty, worthy of God’s judgment
    • 53:12—sinful, transgressors of God’s law, frail, subject to death

APPLICATION; 

How should this passage change, mold, shape and grow us as followers of Jesus?

  1. Isaiah 52-53 can educate our understanding of human nature.

Before a righteous God we are morally and spiritually condemned and evil.  Unless we recognize this, we will fall into errors of thinking living the Christ-centered life is about what we can do rather than what He has done for us.  It will lead us to lean on the flesh rather than the Spirit.  It will lead to disappointment with the reality of our weaknesses rather than rapture with the greatness of His nature. 

This does not mean all of us are as evil as we can be nor that everything we do is evil.  But it does mean none of us can redeem ourselves, save ourselves, pay the penalty for our sins, cleans our sins, heal our sicknesses of soul, redeem our lives. 

  1. Isaiah 52-53 can cause awe and gratitude for the suffering life of Christ.

Is there ANY other religious leader in all history who has suffered as our Lord has?  Our Lord experienced more suffering in more ways for more people than ANY other human being ever to live. 

The reality is, He could have ended it at any moment.  Mt. 26:53—could have called 12 legions (60k) of angels at ANY time in this horrific process.  But at every step He chose suffering instead of escape, pain instead of peace, mocking instead of majesty!  The mocking Jews were wrong when they taunted him to come off the cross, to prove his power to rebuild the Temple in 3 days, to “heal himself”. 

How does a rapist feel when they feel God’s conviction for sin?  A murderer?  An abuser?  A husband or wife that has wounded and damaged their spouse seemingly irreparably with their actions or words?  A drug or alcohol addict who has damaged their own offspring?  A teenager who has slept around?  A collegian who has cheated on their exams or boards or papers?  

Jesus carried all that guilt, shame, hurt, brokenness, pain…all at once…for all humanity.  If he could do that…and since He resides in us…can He not teach us how to let go of all that…ours and those done against us…in exchange for His absolute and total forgiveness?

APP:  What should this do to our behavior when we suffer for righteousness sake?  When the very Word of God itself is thrown back at us, misused and abused?  Look to Jesus!

  1. Jesus in Isaiah can provide comfort & companionship in our own sufferings. What is the pain you are dealing with?  What kinds of suffering?  Mental problems?  Emotional issues?  Spiritual pain?  Relational pain?  Physical pain?  Where?  Jesus knows all about it more deeply than we can possibly imagine.  When he took our suffering upon himself, he did something none of us could do.  He walked through all of it for all humanity.  And he can enable us to walk through suffering we can’t imagine enduring.

Suffering isolates!  It pulls our focus completely to the pain.  It insulates us from the attempts of others to help and assist.  It makes it ever so difficult to maintain normal human interaction. 

But we have a Savior who has suffered in every way imaginable so that he can comfort us with the comfort He himself alone can give.  The “God of all comfort” is waiting to walk with us in the pain we are in. 

  1. This passage should give hope and endurance in life’s injustice, suffering and even death.

Some of you have suffered terrible injustices at the hands of others.  Some have had years of your life stolen by false accusations and undeserved jail time.  Some of you have lost years of innocence and a happy childhood because of the injustice of someone else’s addiction.  Some of you have been physically changed from the womb because of the sins of someone else.  Life can be terribly unjust and unfair. 

Jesus knows that.  He’s lived that.  Having never sinned once against another human being, He has born the sinful consequences of the WHOLE world in His body, his heart, his soul, his mind. 

And not once in that process did He fail to endure for us.  Not once did he dodge suffering so that we, the sinner, would feel God’s wrath against our sin.  He walked the “valley of the shadow of death” ahead of each of us.  And He will be there waiting in that valley when it is our turn to take that journey. 

ILL: the bios of the 3 men who lost their lives in the Moody Aviation crash this summer and their loved ones left here to grieve, to suffer and to eventually join them in death.  The sufferings of Christ hold solace for them.  Listen.  [Read Miller’s prayer letter “Tragedy”.]  Young as these families are, I can assure you that if you talk with them 5 years, 10 years, 15 years from now, you will hear and see the life of Jesus, the comfort of Christ and the fellowship of His suffering bearing good fruit in them. 

  1. Help us in learning how to suffer and the value of suffering. If becoming like Christ is really our goal, than suffering WILL BE our route many times in life. But Jesus himself will be right there by His Spirit to give us His heart, his view, his understanding, his submission to the Father, His endurance, His presence.   

He will show us how to keep the end in view.

He will show us how to submit to the Father’s agonizing will.

He will show us character that can only grow in suffering.

And He will lead us into an eternity in which the sufferings of this life will be converted into more value, more light, more beauty and more glory than anything we can possibly imagine in this life. 

Romans 8:18-- I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

2 Corinthians 1:5--For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.