Fourth Servant Song : Isa 52:13 - 53 :12
of the Awful Task
1. The Task's Success Declared
2. The nature of the servant - unrecognised
3. The purpose of the task - to carry
4. The execution of the task - in silent
5. The outcome of the task
For God's word to be meaningful we need to consider:
what the passage actually
how the things learnt can
apply to ME.
Watch for the repetitious style of the prophet sometimes he says the
same thing in three different ways as if he realises we won't take
it in if he just says it only once.
to this Study:
55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD
please, by your Spirit, teach me your thoughts and your ways.
1. The Task's Success Decreed v.13-15
See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and
highly exalted. 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him--
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form
marred beyond human likeness-- 15 so will he sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were
not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.
look, take note of this. You need to look
carefully or you may misunderstand.
Servant this is God's servant and because
he is the Lord's servant, there will be no mistakes about what happens.
He is here to do my bidding, to do the will of God
this is definite, it is going to happen
because it is God's will.
(the alt.) he will achieve what he's sent
to do. Prosper = succeed.
In everything that follows, naturally it looks like total failure.
If we used this language about a project we were involved in, we
could consider it a total failure. We NEED to know from the outset
that this WILL be totally successful in God's eyes!
I am your servant, I am here to do your will, to please you, for
I know there is nothing better than I can do, and in this my soul
will be satisfied.
watch in all that takes place, it will be
he, the servant, who this happens to.
again, as you watch you may wonder, but
the outcome will be that he is exalted.
Raised this will be done by others; this
will be done to him. Somehow he is going to be elevated.
Lifted up again the sense of others doing
this to him. This of course was what happened to Jesus on the Cross.
Highly exalted others will raise him and
lift him up, but yet he will be genuinely exalted, seen to be above
all others. The Father has raised him from the dead, lifted him
up to heaven
may Jesus be exalted through my life, may that be so for then He
will receive the glory that is DUE to him and men and women will
be in the place where in return they will receive His blessing.
as this sets off in comparison to v.15. On
one side there is this, bad news, on the other (v.15) will be good
who were appalled at him this was the response
of many people to Jesus at some point. Why?
appearance was so disfigured a humanly ugly
person would have been barred from society. No, this is something
that happened to him.
that of any man what was done to him made
him look different from any ordinary person
form marred his whole bodily appearance
was put out such is the work of crucifixion
human likeness he will be damaged beyond
what ought to happen to any human being.
you allowed mankind to dress you, step by step, with disfigurement
as you went down the path to the most inhumane forms of death. No
person can say they have walked a worse path, and you deemed this
the only way to redeem me thank you so much.
will many nations marvel at him (alt) although
many rejected him, many will hear and marvel.
will shut their mouths kings have a habit
of pontificating, expressing their power and authority through words.
When they hear the gospel they will be silenced, they will be convicted
Lord, that which you have done will silence every mouth with its
greatness. May you be truly honoured.
they were not told they will come to realise
things as the Holy Spirit convicts them and brings revelation.
they have not heard they will not need extensive
teaching from men for the Holy Spirit will let them understand the
truth about Jesus.
word of what you have done will come to many unsuspecting souls
as your Spirit draws near and convicts. Thank you that you came
The Nature of the Servant v.1-3 - Unrecognised
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD
been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and
like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to
attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire
him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows,
and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their
faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
has believed a rhetorical question perhaps
implying, no one.
message the prophetic word from God
whom is there anyone who had heard about
arm of the Lord the executive arm, or expression
of God on earth.
this is all new revelation, no one else had a clue about this. In
the N.T. Paul spoke about a mystery', because it was something
unexplained by God previously.
if you had not drawn near, convicted me and revealed this to me,
I could never have dreamt of this.
out of dry ground Jesus stood
out in the spiritually dry generation in which he lived. tender
gentle, vulnerable. Further descriptions of him follow.
beauty i.e. ordinary
majesty no apparent ruler
attract us in the world stars attract the
attention of us masses
we should desire him Jesus wasn't designed
to attract us so that we would desire him for his looks. To the
was despised looked down on with feelings
of contempt by the religious leaders.
rejected by men they pushed him away. He
came offering goodness and wholeness and they chose instead Barabbas.
man of sorrows Jesus FELT he didn't take
all this stoically. His heart was racked with sadness at the folly
and blindness of men.
with suffering whatever the interpretation
here, whether his own physical or others, needs, Jesus is one who
KNOWS about suffering same word as used for the suffering of Israel's
slavery in Egypt (Ex 3:7). He comes to alleviate suffering for it
was alien to God's original world, which was very good' (Gen 1:31
) or the final world (Rev 21:4) with no more death, mourning crying
he is to be compared with
faces people shy away from certain people
was despised 2 nd time looked on with
contempt that's how far WE got it wrong.
esteemed him not that would have been the
correct assessment of Jesus, but we, the human race, assessed him
wrongly so we a) gave up on him at the crunch [disciples], b) purposefully
rejected [Jews] or c) refused to be there for him [ Rome ]
I am so easily led astray and attracted by the great and the glorious,
but that is not how you came. Teach me to be a tender shoot in the
dry and arid ground of our society today. Lord forgive us our stupidity,
that none of us stood by you but instead thought ill of you, that
even today we are so prone to go other ways rather than hold close
The Nature of the Task v.4-6 - to carry our sin
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet
we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for
our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon
by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him
iniquity of us all
did he really, yes he did!
took up it's like he picked them up
infirmities Matthew (Mt 8:17) saw this in
respect of our need for healing from sickness, yet surely infirmities'
means more than physical disabilities. To be infirm means to be
unstable, wobbly, unsure that is the condition of fallen man.
As a result of that we have sorrows we get it wrong, others
get it wrong and the outcome is pain and sorrow. Jesus picks all
these up and carries them away we are delivered out of that darkness
into the light of the love of God.
I am an unstable and unsure being and so often I blow it and pain
and anguish follow, yet you come and go through my life picking
off me these infirmities, and taking from me the burden of the
failures caused by them. You change me and take them all away from
me. Thank you so much for releasing me.
we considered while he was doing all this,
we thought he was coming under God's judgement, that the Cross was
the result of him having brought on himself , unwisely, the wrath
of God and of man.
like disease strikes down a person, so we
thought he was being struck down by God.
we don't tend to use the word smite' but
it means to purposefully strike, so in a double sense we thought
the Cross was god dealing with HIS sin.
when someone is afflicted with a disability
it is imposed on them. Thus we (the human race) saw what was happening
to Jesus as something being imposed upon him by God it was no
accident or mere consequence.
how we so get it wrong, how we so misunderstand in our folly. Please
forgive our stupidity, our blindness our inability to rightly assess.
no, instead something else completely different
was happening to him.
He was pierced Psa 22:16 speaks of his pierced
hands and feet. Jn 19:34 records the piercing of his side. These
were physical piercings something alien entered his body nails
and a spear where they should not be! Yet his spirit was pierced
the knowledge of the awfulness of sin and the knowledge of separation
from the Father, pierced his experience in the same alien way
he was the last person to know that experience surely so utterly
good was he, so did he know communion with the Father.
our transgressions to transgress
means to go astray, to wander from the truth, from what
is right. This is a continual tendency in the human race, to wander
off the straight and narrow, a careless, negligent wandering away.
There is a careless dimension to sin, but carelessness is not an
excuse we are still responsible.
of Negligence if any person could reasonably foresee the consequences
of their actions then a duty of care arises, and they will be liable
for those consequences if they fail to exercise that duty of care.
i.e. if you could have reasonably thought about it, you are responsible
for it. No excuses!
He was crushed crushed usually refers to
the spirit (Psa 34:18), not the body, for Jesus' body was not physically
crushed, but his spirit certainly was. When something is crushed'
it means a great weight has come upon it and squashed it completely
out of shape, e.g. car in crusher.
this case Jesus, who was so strong in spirit was totally crushed
so that his spirit was so distorted in shape that even his awareness
of his Father (which is what the spirit in us does) was devastated
hence, My God, My God
these 2 descriptions he was both devastated FOR and BY. He was devastated
as he took our punishment FOR our sins, but also devastated BY our
sins coming on him see below.
our iniquities iniquities are total
failures, purposeful sinful acts. They are wilful wrongs
as against careless wrongs, things we intended openly to do. It's
bad enough, if you are God, for people to be careless about you.
It is much worse when they purposefully do wrong against you, knowing
it is wrong, knowing it is goes against everything you are, against
everything that is good and true. These purposeful wrongs scream
for punishment and scream into Jesus' spirit of man's rejection
of him. They were utterly devastating crushing! We need a fresh
awareness of this in the church the awfulness of sin and our desperate
need for salvation.
as I see these two sides of my sin this careless wandering away
from the truth, and this purposeful doing of wrong and rejecting
you, I am now devastated. Lord, how this carelessness wounded you,
how this wilfulness devastated your sensitive spirit, and you did
it that my guilt would be dealt with, that my wrong tendencies would
be put to death, and that your life would be given to me to live
responsibly and purposefully for you and for good, now.
punishment be quite clear, this is what
the Cross was punishment for sin. Natural justice demands
a comeback on wrong doing we see it in the youngest child it's
to the parent of a child run down by a drunk driver they want
retribution, they want pain for the offender no one says to them,
Now, now, you're being too hard. We understand the desire for
revenge or retribution in the human heart when wronged. In our hearts
we know we have offended God and deserve His action against us.
brought us peace we were at odds with God.
We had either ignored him and gone astray (transgressions), or had
blatantly rebelled against him and done evil things (iniquities)
and we DESERVED punishment. While that was outstanding, God was
unhappy in that justice was not happening. He still had stuff against
us, uncompleted business! Jesus taking our sin and our punishment
meant that justice was satisfied and that there was nothing outstanding
between us and God we were at peace
all this is all encompassing it leaves
no one out! I have gone astray! This includes me !
sheep sheep tend to be stupid and given
half a chance go off the path, that's why they have sheep dogs,
because of this tendency in sheep and in us!
gone astray this echoes transgressions'
of us if all didn't catch your attention,
this should. It means each and every one of us. None excluded.
turned we've gone away from the direction
we should be going in, the way of righteousness and godliness.
his own way Jeremiah identified the same
problem Jer 2:13 " My people have
committed two sins: They have (1) forsaken me, the spring of living
water, and (2) have dug their own cisterns
is always the same twofold sin: 1) Turning from God, 2) Turning
- and so , the result
LORD this was God doing this this was
not merely an act of man. Acts 2:23 This man was handed over to
you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with
the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
laid on him this wasn't deserved, this wasn't
self imposed this was imposed or put on him by the Lord as a purposeful
act in history.
iniquity of us all that is the purposeful
rebellion and wrong doing of the human race was attributed to him,
and given to him to carry on the Cross.
OF THESE 2 VERSES:
task of the Servant involved the following:
body was entered by alien instruments of death
spirit was entered by the terrible knowledge of sin and separation
spirit was crushed out of all shape and virtually rendered inoperable
by the process.
process involved him carrying the punishment that we deserved,
as he hung on the Cross.
punishment was for our transgressions , the wrong we did
as we carelessly strayed from the path of godliness and righteousness.
was also for our iniquities , the things we purposefully
and wilfully did, our rebellious wrong against God.
Cross was the Servant taking the punishment of God that was purposefully
put on him as THE sin bearer for the world.
The Execution of the Task v.7-9 in Silent Submission
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before
her shearers is silent,
he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was
taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut
off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people
he was stricken.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in
he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
was oppressed oppression is more something
that is done to the mind and spirit. The word for oppressors is
the same word as for slave drivers. When you are slave driven you
are made to do something you don't want to do.
Gethsemane Jesus asked his Father to take away the path before him
Mt 26:38 he said to them, "My soul
is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death the
very thought of what he knew were the realities of being separated
from his Father nearly broke his heart and killed him then!
Pet 1:20 He was chosen before the creation
of the world
13:8 the Lamb that was slain from the
creation of the world
knew the perfect will of God it was necessary to do this thing
but that didn't make it any easier;
26:39 " My Father, if it is possible,
may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will
afflicted as we saw above when someone is
afflicted with a disability it is imposed on them, so this is just
another way of saying the same thing it was put upon him!
despite having all that put on him
did not open his mouth he remained silent
in the face of history's greatest injustice that brought justice
was led as a human he did not willingly
go, that would be a perversion of humanity, but was led there by
a lamb John the Baptist identified him as
the Lamb of God who takes away the sin
of the world' (Jn 1:29 ).
apostle John saw him as a lamb looking
as if it had been slain, standing in the centre of the throne
the Passover it was a lamb that was taken (Exo 12:3).
idea of a lamb is young animal who is sinless, vulnerable.
the slaughter they are taking this lamb
purposefully to be put to death. That is the clear objective.
as a likeness being shown
sheep before her shearers is silent a sheep
is helpless, so there is no point bleating
he did not open his mouth Jesus similarly
Mt 27:12-14 (before) the chief priests
and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, "Don't
you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?" 14 But
Jesus made no reply.
oppression (alt is from arrest) it was
forcibly put upon him they arrested him
judgement he was written off even before
he was arrested they judged him (with a wrong assessment) even
before they took him.
was taken away he was removed from the scene,
stopped doing what he was doing and taken from us, this bringer
of blessing and goodness.
who can speak it seems like he was left
without any children, any followers. What was it all for?
he was cut off this tender shoot (v.2)
his life was terminated prematurely
the transgression of my people because of
the waywardness of Israel who had drifted so far from what they
were called to be. Israel who deserved judgement, receive mercy,
yet it was their transgression that brought about his death.
was stricken again, struck down. A purposeful
was assigned it wasn't apparently preplanned
but was just given by the authorities
grave with the wicked being seen as a criminal,
they would plan to bury him in a criminal's grave.
with the rich in his death - Isaiah would probably
think the rich were the wicked, but in actuality it was a rich man
who gave Jesus his grave.
all this the Lord releases a Press Release of the details of what
will happen, even if His messenger doesn't fully understand what
despite the fact. This is going to happen
contrary to what is deserved;
had done no violence this was no rebellion
against the state that might warrant death
deceit he had not spoken anything wrong.
this was completely undeserved.
The Outcome of the Task v.10-12
Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see
his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will
prosper in his hand. 11 After the suffering of his soul, he will
see the light of life and be satisfied E ; by his knowledge F
my righteous servant will justify many,
he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a
portion among the great,
he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out
his life unto death,
was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
contrary to human beliefs
Lord's will it was all part of God's plan
crush see above
cause him to suffer genuine suffering was
a key element to all this it was no cosmetic show he really
suffered this was genuine punishment
though again despite this now is coming
another contradictory thing. See below.
Lord makes God was doing this
guilt offering an offering according to
the Lord to deal with real and genuine guilt that's what this
will see his offspring the servant WILL
see good coming out of this Jesus saw his disciples afterwards
and He now sees from heaven
prolong his days his days won't be ended
(must have appeared contradictory to Is's hearers)
the will of the Lord will prosper God's
purpose is going to be totally successful despite the human appearance.
his hand the servant will achieve this by his activity his hand
indicates it is by his action. i.e. God's will is going to be fulfilled
by what the servant achieves.
following what he has to go through
suffering of his soul the anguish that he
will see this won't be a case of the servant
just hoping it will all pan out he will see the outworking
light of life light will come to him again
after the darkness of death. Life will follow death.
be satisfied the work will be completely
done, nothing will be left undone by this, so he will be able to
feel good at the end of it that he's achieved what he set out to
achieve, despite the horror of it all.
his knowledge or by the knowledge of him
by coming to know Jesus
righteous servant just a gentle reminder
that although we had written him off, he was and is righteous, he
is God's servant and the Lord has no cause to disassociate himself
justify many justification is the partial
end product that people will be put right with God, just-as-if-I'd-never
he will bear - he's going to carry away
iniquities as above their purposeful sinful
because of all this
- the Lord speaks through His prophet
will give him God decrees this as an end
for the servant
portion among the great (or many) Jesus is going to be numbered
among those who are declared great
he the servant, Jesus
divide the spoils after a battle, that which
was taken was always divided among the victors.
spoils of this battle? Peace, harmony, goodness, love, goodness,
joy (see fruit of the Spirit) given out
the strong (or numerous) the many who have
been made anew and are now strong in him'
the reason that he can do all this
poured our his life he gave his life
was numbered counted among
transgressors he was viewed as a sinner
again a linking word, because of what he
bore the sin of many this summarises his
made intercession he spoke up with the Father
the transgressors his whole life and activity
was to appeal to the father on behalf of us who have wandered away
from the truth and broken the Law of God. THAT was what Jesus, the