We are now at the last of these 5 stanzas of this prophetic word of Isaiah, a passage of eternal significance: Isaiah 53:10-12. I will confine this blog, the first for many weeks from this writer, simply to this verse 10 and follow up with the remainder soon.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though you [the LORD] make his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. Isa 53:10
It was the LORD’S will to crush him, this precious human being, this Son of God! What a mystery, far, far beyond our understanding, to cause his life to suffer as an offering for sin. This is God acting in human history. This is God doing what he had always planned. This is how much he loves us and how grave is our sin.
You got a better rescue plan?
Do you not see it? God, the Father this wonderful person values you so much, loves us so dearly that he has done even this in sending us His Christ, the Jewish Messiah, to rescue us and set us free from fear, domination of the evil powers and an eternal death.
Or are you smarter than God? Do you have a better solution? No. This ‘foolishness’ of God is much wiser than your ideas, your private little philosophy, your miserably-weak world view, your bankrupt and beggarly religion, your vain self-righteous insurance you think will get you over the line.
This remarkable word speaks unmistakably of a ransom, a vicarious death, the lamb slain. Done.
Yes. Yes. This is a death of the innocent instead of the offenders, the many. Us. All of us. Jews and Gentiles. Religious and irreligious. Wealthy and poor. Young and old. We have all broken fellowship with God, acted as offenders, sinned, gone our own ways. We have turned our backs on the Lover who having provided us life upon this awesome planet, now does the ultimate to win us back to His bosom.
The story teller in Matthew 20:28 quotes Jesus’ emphatic word about himself: the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. There it is – the suffering servant of Isaiah, predicted 6 centuries before and fulfilled in unmistakable detail in the death of the historical Jesus, an act that is emphasised over and over by all the writers of the New Testament.
He suffered and he died. But as Isaiah saw long ago, he will see his offspring, innumerable people from every race, generation, nationality, status and culture. He will see the fruit of his labours, the results of his offering. The suffering servant will survive and will see the abundant life flowing from his offering. And that’s not all. God’s design, his will, will is being restored and seen under his leadership.
His leadership, his movement: It began with an outpouring of power and authority upon his offspring, his followers who against all odds in an aggressive Roman rule and pervasive Greek ideas and culture, turned that world around. Today the results of his death, abound in China, in Africa in the Middle East and in South East Asia – things that are not widely known in the media dominated West.
He sees the results of that dreadful travail of his human soul. He lives. He lives! Victorious.