Behold My Servant: Part 5

Isaiah 53:10  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 9
“Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief. When thou shalt make his soul a trespass-offering, he shall see seed, he shall prolong days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand” (ver. 10).
In the preceding section the last clause of ver. 8 is decisive that the speaker can be none other than Jehovah Himself meditating throughout 7-9 on the gracious sufferings of His Messiah. Here in ver. 10 it is no less certain that we hear the remnant's voice about Him in answer to Jehovah, and reckoning on the sure and blessed fruit of Jehovah's part in that momentous trespass-offering. If Jehovah viewed with delight the Holy One of God meekly bowing to all indignity and suffering at the hands of those among whom He deigned to dwell in infinite love, and with heart set on representing aright the true God who was as little known as He is as among the heathen, the godly tell Jehovah of the wonder, once hidden from them but now their delight, that it seemed good in Jehovah's eyes to bruise Him.
Long had the bruising of Him been revealed. It was disclosed to the guilty pair in paradise forfeited by their transgression (Gen. 3:1515And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)), before the responsible man was driven out, and the cherubim were set with the flame of the flashing sword to guard the way to the tree of life. Then the enmity of the serpent was in the foreground; and the word was “He shall crush thy head, and thou shalt crush his heel”; as this was the announcement proper then, and most true in itself. The crushed Savior should crush the Serpent's head, and at last be its utter destruction; for the God of peace shall bruise Satan under our feet shortly, howsoever long He has waited: as He is the last enemy with his power of death to be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. Nor is it here the deceived and beguiled human adversaries Jew or Gentile who are dwelt on.
Of these the Lord spoke often to His disciples when unbelief became more and more pronounced. “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go away [being then near Cæsarea-Philippi] to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief-priests and scribes, to be killed, and the third day be raised” (Matt. 16:2121From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. (Matthew 16:21)). Then after the transfiguration, while they abode in Galilee, He said to them, “The Son of man is about to be given up into men's hands, and they shall kill Him, and the third day He shall be raised up” (Matt. 18:22, 2322Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 23Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. (Matthew 18:22‑23)). Again, in Matt. 20:17-1917And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, 18Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, 19And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. (Matthew 20:17‑19), He took the Twelve apart, and said, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man will be given up to the chief-priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death; and they will give Him up to the Gentiles, to mock and to scourge, and to crucify, and the third day He shall rise again.” Compare Acts 2:22, 23, 36; 3:13-15; 4:10; 5:30, 3122Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: (Acts 2:22‑23)
36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)
13The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. (Acts 3:13‑15)
10Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (Acts 4:10)
30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:30‑31)
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But here the godly view His sufferings in the light of Jehovah's purpose and peace. Whatever man's wickedness, and it was immense every way, love still more unfathomable was behind to bring about a work of grace beyond human thought to God's glory, beyond all love in man who might die for his friend, as He for His enemies proves it essentially divine. “Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him.” What grace could compare with this? What an answer to Satan's base suggestion in paradise, that He begrudged His most favored creature the fruit of the tree in the midst of it! For what gift in heaven or earth could approach that unspeakable free gift? What sufferings too were like His? Truly He was subjected to grief; and by whom? How divine a way to demonstrate the love and holiness and righteousness of Him that sent, and of Him who was thus put to grief?
O sinful man, O doubting believer, accept the witness God has given concerning His Son. Professing Christian, go not below what godly Jews shall yet confess. As Isaiah here predicts to be fulfilled in them for the kingdom on earth; so we ought to do still more fully according to the gospel for heaven. “Herein is love, not that we loved God [as we surely ought], but that He loved us, and sent His Son a propitiation for our sins.” Indeed He loved us beyond parallel, and doubly. We were dead in sins; and God's love was manifested in sending His only-begotten Son, that we might live through Him. We were guilty sinners; and He sent His Son as the only efficacious sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9, 109In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9‑10)).
The prophet so many centuries before as to this thoroughly agrees with the apostle who looked on the cross, and so many years after lived to give this witness of divine love. “When thou shall make His soul a trespass-offering, He shall see seed, He shall prolong days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand.”
There are those bearing the Christian name who venture to question and even deny that God dealt with our Lord Jesus judicially. But here is not a debatable type, if such it be counted; here is no trope which can be deemed Oriental, as so many love to find in scripture. It is the greatest of the O. T. prophets after Moses expressing in the Spirit what the future believing remnant of Jews will respond to Jehovah's intimate communications about Messiah. None can dispute that it is a term taken from the very heart of the offerings for sin in the Jewish ritual, illuminated by the light of Christ to those so long sleeping among things dead, as all must be in unbelief. It is more than an offering for “sin,” and expresses the addition to swerving from right the guilt of offense against relationship with Jehovah, a desecration of His name in respect of Him who deigned to make them His (and we may surely say in every respect); for in what had Israel not failed?
But when Messiah's soul (for it was not His body alone, but Himself in the most intimate and full way) was made a trespass-offering, how efficacious the result! What was blood of bulls and goats, of rams or lambs, in comparison? The worshippers once purged have no more conscience of sins, as the Epistle to the Hebrews so boldly declares. Messiah has already seen a seed purged and blessed thereby; and “He shall see seed” too for His manifested kingdom here below, not of His ancient people only but “all the families of the earth blessed in Him.” “Unto Thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and they shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited falsehood, vanity; and in these things is no profit” (Jer. 16:1919O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. (Jeremiah 16:19)). Dead for our sins, He is alive again for evermore, the best prolongation of days; and “the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand.” For “the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name is called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Father of the age to come (or, Eternity), Prince of Peace,.. upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom to establish it, and to uphold it with righteousness and with judgment from henceforth even forever.” “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment; a man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the storm; as brooks of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.”