Isaiah 53 & 54
Despised and Rejected
Isaiah 53 & 54:
As He Took the Punishment for Our Sins
Chapter 53 is perhaps the most complete Old Testament picture of the sufferings of Christ and all that would come about as a result.
Verse 2b “He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.”
He was born to poor parents in a stable. There was nothing kingly about Him from an earthly perspective—nothing that would make people say, “Listen, this is a man of influence.”
Verse 3, “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
Relatively few recognized Him as the Messiah, instead, they despised Him because He exposed their hearts.
He took the punishment for our sins, and God’s wrath was poured out on Him instead of us (53.4-6).
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (v. 6).
He didn’t defend Himself. He remained silent before His accusers (53.7).
He died with the wicked, between two thieves, yet He was buried in the tomb of a rich man (53.8-9, 12).
Verse 12, “… And He bore the sin of many” (including you and me if we have placed our faith in Him).
He even “… made intercession for the transgressors (53.12)—“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23.34).
What a Savior we have in Jesus!
Today’s Other Readings:
Praise the Lord!
These four verses proclaim what should be our response as we understand more and more just what He did for us:
1 Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
Praise the name of the LORD!
2 Blessed be the name of the LORD
From this time forth and forevermore!
3 From the rising of the sun to its going down
The LORD’s name is to be praised.
4 The LORD is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens.
I Was Only Kidding!
Verses 18-19, “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, ‘I was only joking!’”
This person does more damage than they can even imagine. Yet, rather than face their own sin honestly, they minimize it by saying they were only kidding!
Sarcasm is one of the most lethal weapons we can use against one another. One definition of the word means to “tear with the teeth.” And isn’t that how it feels when we are the object of someone else’s sarcasm.
While we can’t control what someone else does, we can seek to lovingly confront them (Eph. 4.15, 25-27, 29), overcome evil with good (Rom. 12.21), and purpose in our hearts not to be the perpetrators of evil, sarcastic speech.
Filled Up with God
Paul continues to expound the riches and glory of being “in Christ.” And in verses 14-19, he prays for those who will read his letter. It’s a great prayer to pray for ourselves and those we love:
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
When we do, we are praying to be strengthened spiritually (v. 16), that Christ and faith would live in our hearts (v. 17), that we would be rooted and grounded in the love of God (v. 17), to understand the scope of God’s love (vv. 17-18), and to be filled with the fullness of God (v. 19).
John MacArthur in his Daily Bible says about the phrase “filled with the fullness of God” that we should pray “to be so strong spiritually, so compelled by divine love, that one is totally dominated by the Lord with nothing left of self.”
In the next few days we’ll talk about what a mature Christian looks like, what’s going on when we think we can sin now and ask forgiveness later, angry children, hypocrisy, the armor of God and more.
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Praying that each of us might be filled with the fullness of God,
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