Monday, April 18, 2011

The Way of the Cross (35)

The very last section of Isaiah 53 contains a few more surprises, as we'll see as we reflect on it today.

The first one comes in verse 10. Despite the servant of the LORD having done no violence and having no deceit in his mouth, the reason for his death is surprising. On his death certificate, what would be recorded as cause of death?

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
(Isaiah 53:10)

The LORD crushes his servant, his Son. It was his plan and purpose, foretold for so long beforehand, and yet isn't it still shocking? The only one who perfectly pleased the LORD suffers at his hands, dying for guilty, filthy rebels who deserved the punishment.

But the crushing wasn't the end of the will of the LORD - Jesus' death isn't the end. Rather, it's a new beginning - the verse continues to talk of him seeing his offspring, having prolonging days, and prospering the will of the LORD. This isn't a Da Vinci Code type Jesus and his children by marriage. The offspring are all his children, his brothers and sisters who are given birth in the gospel, who live in the benefits and blessings of his sacrifice.

Ultimately, by the knowledge of the servant, the righteous one, many will be made righteous. His sacrifice is satisfying, the will of the LORD has been fulfilled, as God takes on the punishment God inflicts, to let us go free and be righteous in his sight. His death was not the end, and so our death is not the end either, as we trust in Christ. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

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