Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Mystery of suffering

Our natural instinct is to focus on our suffering. Let Isaiah point us to the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ.
       Isaiah 40 is the turning point of the book, and the build up of hope in God revealing Himself rises.  The joyful news bounces upon the mountains as the Gospel of peace.  Then chapter 52 and 53 present the servant of God as, by appearances – a failure!  It certainly is not natural to follow a failure. We cannot ignore Isaiah 53, because the Lord Jesus Himself applied it to Himself (Luke 22).  So the mystery of suffering in this chapter is unlocked by Jesus Himself.

      Up to this chapter, sin was generally rewarded with punishment. In chapter 53, the sins of the wandering sheep, the punishment of the transgressors, is placed upon the innocent, the holy Servant of God, the Messiah himself! Not only is He counted among the transgressors (53.12), but He is the substitute to bear their sins.
    ‘Why should Jesus suffer so on the cross of shame? ‘
    We must note the important factor in this chapter – “The Lord laid on Him”    “ the Lord made His soul an offering for sin”.  When we see the “Lord”  acting , we see the suffering of Jesus Christ as being for a distinct purpose.
Verse 7 has an interesting marginal rendering in the Newberry Bible – “  It was exacted and He became answerable”   Sounds like 2 Corinthians 5.21 “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ “ NLT.
Isaiah 53 concludes with triumph, not only for the suffering Messiah, but triumph for those whose sins He has borne. He as the risen one intercedes in heaven for them.
This chapter has remarkable detail of the sorrows, rejection, pain, misjudgement, etc of Christ. Take time to search it out.

   Well might Phillip preach to the Ethiopian from this same chapter – Jesus  (Acts 8)
Going forward into Chapters 54 – 66, more precious truth is unfolded about the Messiah eg 61.  Chapter 55 proclaims the Gospel of free grace to all who turn to the Lord. The conclusion is full of hope as the King returns to establish His righteous rule. ‘Even so come Lord Jesus’

In review of Isaiah, we may not understand all its historical background and application, but we sure can rejoice in the unveilings of God’s Son, revealed for God’s will and our blessing.
In closing, please ponder chapter  66.1-2  --The almighty, so great and glorious is willing to dwell with the humble and contrite ones, who tremble at His word! ! !

John McKee

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