Satisfied with the Result of His Anguish

// June 2nd, 2019 // Sermons

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Isaiah 53 - Suffering Servant Series

This is now the 3rd and final sermon in the Isaiah 53…You can listen online or download it and listen later…Satisfied by the Result of His Anguish

Suffering Servant – sermon series that I started the Sunday after Easter.

Now…if you want to know what is going on in someone’s heart, you just need to watch and observe what it is that brings them great satisfaction.  When you are able to identify what satisfies them, you can know what their deep desires in life really are.

That is essentially what this final passage out of Is. 53 is really all about – getting to know the heart of God and His Servant, the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.

The passage reveals to the reader what God desires and how that desire accomplished great blessing in the hand of God’s Suffering Servant.  We also need to take note of how the Suffering Servant is aware of the result of what His anguish produced – He sees this and is satisfied!  Notice v. 10:  “But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.”  This is an incredible glimpse at the Father’s heart – it pleased the Father to crush His Son!

In the last line of v. 10, Isaiah says that this intentional plan of the Lord will “prosper in his hands…”  All of God’s sovereign purposes in the death of His Suffering Servant – our Lord Jesus – will be accomplished.

And, the interesting part of this is that the Servant is glad that God’s plan will prosper.  Jesus, the Lamb of God, is not resentful at God His Father!  Notice the first part of v. 11:  “When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.”

We need to understand the gravity of what is being stated here – Jesus would see the Father’s good pleasure succeeding through the very suffering and anguish that He would go through, and still He – the Son – would be satisfied – not frustrated, not bitter, not vengeful – satisfied!

In this chapter, we are not just privileged to see the heart of God, but, we also see the heart of the Suffering Servant, Jesus.  And so, as I said, if you want to know something important about the heart of God and the heart of his Servant Jesus, we need to grasp what Isaiah is saying as He speaks about the Father and the Son’s desire – that which satisfies them…and when we grasp this, we should be filled with wonder.

More than anything else in the world, we need to know God—to know Him – to understand what brings Him satisfaction.  We need to know Him as He is…to know Him as He reveals Himself in His Word.

Keep that in mind as we look at these three verses – keep an eye open for anything that might reveal to you God’s desire and our Lord Jesus’ satisfaction.  At the outset, let me say that, the Father’s desire and the Son’s satisfaction have the same final objective outcome.  Notice that the desires of One, satisfies the other.

In these three verses there are at least eight things that the Suffering Servant does for His people.  These are the things that reveal the heart of God.  #1…

  1. The Righteous Servant’s Experience

The ESV for the middle part of v. 11 reads, “…by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous…” One translation says, “…will justify the many.”

Several translations use the phrase “by his knowledge” – I researched what it means.  It means that the work He came to do was based on His experience of being the eternal Son of God – He didn’t come to be the Suffering Servant as a “bait-and-switch”.  God didn’t “pull a fast one” on His Son by having Him be born as a man.  By His knowledge means that the Servant was not taken off guard by the will of the Father to crush Him.  The Suffering Servant knew all about it, and He still agreed to come and follow through with the Father’s plan.

If the Servant had been caught off guard – if God had snuck up on Him and put him to death – then His death would have a totally different meaning than it does…His death would not have justified anyone.

The reason the suffering and death of the Servant area able to produce justification in the lives of those who believe on Him, is because of knowledge:  “By his knowledge the righteous one will justify many.”

Because Jesus was fully aware, conscious, mindful, alert, and in willing agreement with the Father’s good pleasure – by this knowledge – His death has the saving effect that the Father intended it to have.

So the first work of the Servant was the work of knowing – based on experiential knowledge of the will of the Father.  The Son did not enter the Father’s plan, blindfolded.  He was not used unwittingly like a pawn.  He knew the Father’s will.  And by that knowledge He joined the Father in the redeeming work willingly and therefore effectively!  Secondly,

  1. The Servant exposed Himself to death

In the middle of v. 12 the ESV reads:  “…because he poured out his soul to death…”  Yes, according to v. 11, He experienced anguish of soul.  Or, in v. 10 we read, “…His life is made an offering for sin…”

In other words, the Servant dies.  This is not an accidental death…this isn’t merely something that happened to Him.  We need to grasp the fact that it happens by Him.  He lays down His life according to His knowledge of the Father’s will.  He is obedient even unto death.  He chooses to suffer.  Such a significant thing for us to remember.  #3…

  1. The Servant bore the sins of many.

We see this in the last part of v. 12 – most translations read:  “…he himself bore the sin of many.”  Notice the last line of v. 11:  “…he will bear all their sins.”

Jesus’ death was not like any other human death.  The Lord – the Heavenly Father – the Sovereign God – willed to crush His Son.  V. 10 reads, “he has put him to grief” – literally understood that “…the Lord’s good plan to…cause Him grief”.  And the Servant accepted it willingly because He could see the bigger picture.  The grief, the anguish, the pain, the death of One, carried the sins of many.

Now we are starting to get to the genuine heartbeat of our God:  it was the will of the Lord to crush him, NOT because of the sins committed by the Son, but because of our sins.  It was God’s plan that we not have to carry our own sins – or face the consequence for them.  He bore the sins of many!  Seven hundred years before Crucifixion Day, God announced why His Son was going to be put to death:  to bear the sins of many—to take our place.

There is a legal standard that states that a person cannot be tried for the same offense two times…this is called Double Jeopardy.  I can’t find evidence to support this, but I believe this human law is based upon God’s standard.

In God’s economy, you don’t have to face the consequence of sins that you have committed – He will not judge you for them twice.  God does not sentence His Servant and then judge us for the same sins.  If Jesus bore our sins, we don’t have to.  That is the glorious gospel of Jesus!  He bore our sins.  #4…

  1. The Servant is satisfied.

In 1 Cor. 15:4, when Paul wrote that Jesus was raised from the dead “according to the Scriptures,” – this Isaiah passage was probably one of the OT Scriptures he has in mind.  In v. 10, after saying that the Servant gives Himself as a guilt offering, Isaiah says, “He will see his offspring, he will prolong his days.”  This certainly seems to be in reference to the resurrection – after He dies as an offering for sin, He lives again – “He shall prolong his days…”

In a similar way, in v. 11, after the anguish of His soul, Isaiah says, “He shall see and be satisfied.”  He is not annihilated at death, nor does he enter in the place of misery after death…no, the prophet is clear, He is alive to see and be satisfied with what His death has accomplished.

And then, again in v. 12 – at the end of v. 11, Isaiah wrote that he bears the iniquities of others, and then v. 12, “Therefore, I will allot him a portion with the great.”  The NLT reads, “I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier…”

He has been a faithful sin-bearer in death; therefore he will be among the great in life.  Paul uses the same “therefore” in Phil. 2:9 – “Jesus was obedient unto death.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and given him a name that is about every name.”

So, we read that the Servant is satisfied – He’s alive, even though he was dead!  He rose from the dead!  #5…

  1. The Servant intercedes for the rebels.

The last part of v. 12:  “He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.”  This takes us beyond sin-bearing and resurrection.  He carried our sins on Himself and interceded for us.

This reminds me of Rom. 8 – in v.34 we read, “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”

This is an incredible mystery – why the Father would choose to save and bless His people through the intercession of the Son.  It’s not that the Father is against us and He has His Son plead on our behalf for His mercy.

God the Father is the one who has planned this great salvation that the Servant is coming to perform.  In v. 10a it says, “The Lord was pleased to crush him”; and the end of v. 10 – “the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.”  Our Lord Jesus Christ is interceding for us that what God the Father has planned would be realized.

One of the things that God has planned was that He would bless His people through the prayers of His Servant.  Jesus bears the sin of many and intercedes for our transgressions.

This Suffering Servant is alive today!  He is in heaven; and [Praise be to our God!] He is constantly holding before the holy face of our God, the wounds that the Father himself inflicted which cover all our iniquities.  He speaks to the Father on our behalf….that is amazing!  This leads to the 6th thing the Servant does:

  1. The Servant justifies.

In the latter part of v. 11 we read:  “My Righteous Servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous.”  If our sin caused Jesus to have to die, then our sin has been punished!  And if our sin has been punished, we are free of it!  And if we free from our sin, we are without guilt before the Father!  And if we are without guilt before God, we are justified…we are acquitted…we are declared righteous!

This is what God has been up to in this great work of the Servant.  He is providing for your acquittal and mine.  We have all sinned, we have all brought reproach on the glory of the Lord God Almighty.  We have not diminished His attributes or His character, He is still infinitely holy!

But, get this – if we our left to ourselves we will come under God’s terrible wrath and everlasting judgment.  That is not punishment – that is consequence.

But, praise God! – this is not His heart.  God’s heart is that His Servant – His Son – be crushed in our place…that He bear our iniquities…that He would rise from the dead….He would intercede in heaven for us, and ultimately, that He would justify the ungodly.  How anyone can turn away from this, absolutely boggles my mind!

But then, as if that were not great enough, He does more…#7…

  1. The Servant will have many descendants.

In the middle of v. 10 it says, “When his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants…”  Isaiah doesn’t elaborate on this, but seems to imply:  When the servant dies, He doesn’t just provide for justification; He also provides for new birth – the new birth into God’s family.  His death and resurrection does not merely produce justified sinners – His death and resurrection produces offspring, descendants – new children in God’s family.

Or, to say it another way:  the death of Jesus not only solves the problem of guilt, but also the problem of separation from God, loneliness, estrangement.  His death and resurrection not only provides forgiveness for us, we become family!  We are not just okay in relation to the law; we are at home with the Father in a personal, relational sense.

But that’s still not all.  The Servant does one more thing.  #8:

  1. The Servant is a victorious soldier.

Listen to the start of v. 12:  “Therefore, [that is, because of His faithfulness in death] I will allot him a portion with the great, and he will divide the booty [or spoils] with the strong.”  The NLT reads, “I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier…”

  1. 10 says He will see His offspring; v. 11 says He will justify many; and, v. 12 says He will divide the spoils of war with the strong. Those three groups are one and the same! They are justified sinners, who are children of God, and now are victors with the Messiah in His triumph over death, over the devil and all that is evil.

The servant has defeated death by rising from the dead.  He has defeated the power of sin to condemn the sinner by acquitting the guilty, making them righteous.  He has defeated the power of sin to corrupt by making children of God out of children of wrath.

And because of His triumphs, He has taken back the power from the god of this world.  Then, listen to this – He gives this power to whomever He pleases; and it pleases Him to give power to the meek.  In Matt. 5:5 we read:  “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  They shall share the spoils of Messiah’s triumph over all things.  They will be fellow heirs/joint heirs with Christ – as Paul writes.

Two weeks ago, Warren Wiersbe, one of my favorite commentary writers and expositional preachers passed away.  When writing about these verses, he wrote:  “In His holiness, God must judge sinner, but in His love, He desires to forgive them. God cannot ignore sin or compromise with it, for that would be contrary to His own nature and Law.  How did God solve this problem?  The Judge took the place of the criminals and me the demands of His own holy Law!  

Now hear this next quote from Wiersbe:  “Grace is love that has paid a price, and sinners are saved by grace….grace justifies the ungodly when they trust Jesus Christ!  To justify means ‘to declare righteous.’ 

I want to close by focusing on the last three benefits that the Servant Jesus, achieved for us on the cross:  He justifies us; He makes us descendants; and He shares the spoils of victory.  These three gifts of grace correspond to three tremendously deep longings/needs that we have:

  1. We long for some way to get rid of guilt and a bad conscience for all that we have done wrong;
  2. We long to be loved and accepted as part of a group or a family;
  3. We long to celebrate the victory with our Victorious Head – our Lord Jesus!

The Servant satisfies each of these longings at the cost of His own life: He justifies the ungodly; He makes us part of the family of God; and He shares with us the spoils of victory.

And when this happens, we see God:  we see that the good pleasure of the Lord is prospering in His hand.  God sees it all and is satisfied!

I urge you to trust Him this morning.  You and I cannot justify ourselves.  You and I cannot make ourselves children of God.  You and I will not receive the spoils of battle.  You and I can only receive these things as a gift through the work of Christ.  Trust in Him and you receive it all!

John 17:3 reads – “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”

Let’s pray…

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