Recognize God’s Ways May 07, 2006 Isa.53:1-12
The old saying quoted so often “God works in mysterious ways His wonder to preform,”
certainly applies to the plan of salvation. Man has never devised a plan like the one God chose to use in bringing salvation to mankind. Surprisingly Isaiah tell us the countenance of Jesus was not movie star quality as this was not God’s way. We must, Recognize God’s Ways.
1. Recognize God May Use . . Unlikely Qualities. 53:1-3
A. Qualities People Do Not . . Desire. 53:1-2
1 Who has believed what we have heard? And who has the arm of the Lord been
revealed to? 2 He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no form or splendor that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire
B. Qualities People . . Despise. 53:3
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness
was. He was like one people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.
We can see in our text that God used unlikely qualities to bring salvation. The qualities people desire in a leader are not prominent in this picture of Christ. The description of: “no form or splendor,” certainly speak to less desirable qualities. Then the writer tell us Christ experienced sickness, and people turned away from Him. Recently I watched the movie The Passion of Christ again, and I turned away for the beaten, and suffering the Lord experienced. It made me think of this passage. It is interesting to know from the New Testament many were attracted to the Lord, and they were blessed. The spiritual attributes accomplish God’s way when fleshly characteristics will not. That should make all of us happy.
2. Because He May Use . . Unexpected People. 53:4-6
A. Unexpected Because of His . . Afflictions. 53:4-5
4 Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn
regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced because of
our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him,
and we are healed by His wounds.
B. Unexpected Because of His . . Atonement. 53:6
6 We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord
has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.
Much of Israel rejected Christ because of His afflictions. They really did not look for a Messiah who would bear our griefs, and sorrows. They regarded Him as one stricken, and not a mighty ruler who would free them from Roman rule. Israel did not look so much for atonement as they longed for governmental power; so what God did was not what they expected. We must learn from this to let Him lead our thinking and not presuppose the ways of God.
3. Because He May Use . . Undeserved Suffering. 53:7-9
A. Unexpected Because of His . . Silence. 53:7
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth.
B. Unexpected Because of His . . Speech. 53:8-9
8 He was taken away because of oppression and judgment; and who considered His
fate? For He was cut off from the land of the living; He was struck because of My people’s
rebellion. 9 They made His grave with the wicked, and with a rich man at His death,
although He had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully.
If you were God would you allow your Son to suffer for the sins of mankind? I think we all would say “No!” It is unexpected, and undeserved, but that demonstrates grace. We may contrast the silence and speech of the Messiah. During the oppression why did Christ keep silent much of the time? Sharing about His speech we receive the testimony, He “had not spoken deceitfully.”
4. Because He May Use . . Unusual Success. 53:10-12
A. Unusual Because of His . . Suffering. 53:10-11a
10 Yet the Lord was pleased to crush Him, and He made Him sick. When You make
Him a restitution offering, He will see [His] seed, He will prolong His days, and the will of
the Lord will succeed by His hand. 11 He will see [it] out of His anguish, and He will be
satisfied with His knowledge.
B. Unusual Because of His . . Submission. 53:11b-12
“. . . My righteous servant will justify many, and He will carry their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give Him the many as a portion, and He will receive the mighty as spoil,
because He submitted Himself to death, and was counted among the rebels; yet He bore the
sin of many and interceded for the rebels.
Does success come through suffering and submission? Many times we avoid those qualities
but they produce victory. Will God cause His Son to suffer for our redemption? Yes! These
methods seem unusual and strange when compared to worldly ways. For whom did Christ die? He
died for those with a sin problem, and all who submit to Him understand why Christians emphasize
the sacrificial death of Christ as a success. Furthermore when we realize all God did for us in Christ
it is a privilege to Recognize God’s Ways. Amen? Amen!