History of Redemption: Blog Post 28
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. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. - Isaiah 53:10-12
I have heard many analogies of substitutionary atonement through books and sermons, stories of “righteous” men facing punishment and sometimes death in place of another. All of them have helped me, but today as I read God's prophetic words to Isaiah regarding His plan of atonement, I cannot help but think that they have all fallen short of the reality of the absolutely shocking truth that a perfect and holy God would clothe Himself in human flesh, and stand in the place of my judgement. How can this be? What kind of God could ever be so loving, and so merciful as to do this? There is no other faith system in the world that professes anything like this. It is truly truly shocking. It is so shocking, that I am forced to ask myself, could this be true? I don't think questioning your faith is a sign that you have not been saved. Sometimes these questions may spring from a deeper understanding of just how extraordinary the gospel is. And yet today we read these words, written hundreds of years before His plan took place, declaring that the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ was and is His plan to redeem us from all of our sin and iniquity and transgression. God did not just carry out this plan, He announced centuries beforehand, that this was His plan. This gives me great reassurance that the staggering truth of the gospel is in fact truth. Instead of me blogging about God's word in Isaiah, why don't I let God Himself blog about His word in Isaiah, placing side by side the prophecy of the Old Testament with the glorious fulfillment of the New Testament.
1. “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief”;
“Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know - this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2:22-23).
2. “when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days”;
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:4-7).
3. “the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities”;
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).
4. “Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong”;
“At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal” - (Revelation 4:2-6).
5. “because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors”;
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
"For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39).