Word from Scotland
by Sandy Shaw
A young boy was asked to read one of the lessons and he said – Let us turn to the Gospel according to Isaiah, to Chapter 52 reading from verse 13 and into Chapter 53. Some people cringed.
I did that a few years ago in a Holy Week Service and some people did raise their eyebrows – but did that boy not say something far truer than we realise?
This Chapter has had such an influence upon the New Testament writers – it is a most quoted passage.
The apostle used these sentences frequently.
Jesus must have used these words from Isaiah time and time and time again.
Even on the Emmaus Road the risen Jesus refers to the Suffering Servant – have you not understood that?
Isaiah began back in Chap 42 to speak of this coming Suffering Servant. He is a shadowy figure to begin with – Isaiah gives us four poems or songs – but Isaiah is given a fuller revelation of this Suffering Servant.
This fourth Song or Poem is the passage referred to above – do make time and take time to read it.
There are five sections or stanzas.
It begins with the exultation of the Servant, and ends with the exultation of the Servant.
It has a shape – which we have in Philippians Chapter 2 – or in John Chapter 13 in the Upper Room.
Jesus had come from God and was returning to God. And in the middle, He takes the role of the lowest Servant in the household, and He washes feet.
Verse 13 to 15 – the Servant’s triumph is wholly unexpected. Look at my servant who acts wisely. He is to be so marred – disfigured.
We do not ask – is this HE who was to come – but is this HUMAN?
‘Sprinkle’ is the language of Leviticus, speaking of sacrifice and forgiveness. God is speaking here of salvation going to the nations and not just the Hebrews. This is radical – this is revolutionary – this is Isaiah!
Chapter 53 verse 1 – Who has believed our message? Very very few!
Verse 2 – He grew up like a tender plant. This must have reminded Isaiah of a word given at the start of his ministry. Isaiah saw a stump and shoot appearing – a shoot. We could walk past a shoot being unaware of its significance.
Would we walk past Him in Bethlehem? We hear a crying babe in an outhouse – and we do not realise who this is.
He was despised – have you ever been despised?
He was rejected – have you even been rejected?
This is involved in ‘the call’ to “Follow Me”.
How could this be Messiah? How could this be God? No wonder they all ran away!
Jesus prayed in John Chapter 17 that his disciples might see Him in His glory.
They would have seen Him in this being despised – and rejected.
Jesus wanted to reassure His men that he was the Messiah – the Christ.
The risen Jesus wants to reassure you today – if you need reassuring.
Verses 4 to 6 – where the Servant’s suffering is explained. These disciples could not understand all this. He was treated as a derelict – beaten and chastised and beaten and afflicted.
What was happening - He was becoming a curse for us.
“Every kind of wound known to medical science could be found on the body of Jesus Christ.”
Chastisement is family language. A good father will chastise a son when necessary!
Punishment is legal language. Jesus is wounded and crushed and chastised and punished. There is in increasing intensity.
This is happening because of the iniquity of my heart and of my life.
He sufferers the chastisement of the family to bring me into the family.
Verse 6 - The Lord is doing this – Jehovah – God the Father – is doing this – as your sins – your sicknesses – your weaknesses – your spiritual and physical needs – are taken – and given to Jesus.
That is the Gospel – the Good News – the Gospel according to Isaiah.
“In my place condemned He stood.”
He takes my place – where I should have stood – HE STANDS and takes my place. Barabbas knew the significance of that! “I should have been on that tree – He went in my place. He would never have forgotten that!
He pays the penalty – this is our Passover Lamb.
We see here the Hand of God – this is the heart of the cross.
It pleased the Lord to bruise Him. No wonder He wrestled in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was being called to give His Humanity.
This would be called today – Divine Child Abuse! Some have done that.
My God My God – WHY have YOU forsaken ME?
What were the angels seeing as they peered over the balcony of heaven? Would they dare a sideways glance at the face of the Father?
Verses 7 to 9 - The Servant’s Obedience is underlined.
Verse 10 to 12 – YET – THEREFORE – NEVERTHELESS – so often these words appear in the Bible – nevertheless, I will let down the nets – because you say so, Jesus. (Luke Chapter 5)
Verse 10 - He will see His offspring – the will of the Lord will prosper in HIS HAND. He will see the light – and He will be satisfied. He will JUSTIFY many.
Resurrection is assured and promised. How did Isaiah envisage that?
There was a man from Africa – he was reading this very passage. Do you understand what you are reading? How can I unless someone explains it to be?
That man – the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ethiopia came to faith – he was an important official – reading the Bible. He became a believer – he came to faith – and was baptised in that pond there and then – he knew it had to be done. (Acts Chapter 8)
This same passage can speak to you. This same God can reassure.
This same risen Lord Jesus Christ can speak now – perhaps is speaking even now – the very word you need to hear!
Our gracious God – we give thanks for the scriptures – we give thanks for the Bible – we give thanks for the cross of Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus, thank you for all you did – we will never plumb its depths, but we give thanks for the shed blood – for your willing sacrifice – our Passover Lamb – we give thanks and bow and worship. Amen.
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Bible and Quote - November 22-26Read Article »
Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!
Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.
Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.
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