Understandest thou what thou readest? (Part 3)
Two thousand years ago a man who was seeking for God was reading in the 53rd chapter of the book of Isaiah. God sent another man to preach Jesus to him out of this Old Testament passage:
“And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”
Today, I am going to preach unto you Jesus from the last three verses of the 53rd chapter of the book of Isaiah.
“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”
The pleasure spoken of here is not something that is enjoyed. It has to do with God performing his will. The Hebrew word translated “bruise” is much more than a mere black-and-blue mark that we get when we bump into something. In the Hebrew, this word means to “crush”, “beat to pieces”, “break in pieces”, or “destroy”:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
He was made an offering for your sin and mine:
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
(II Corinthians 5:21)
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
(I Peter 2:24)
Jesus Christ has pleasure in giving the gift of eternal life to others:
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”
The Hebrew word translated “travail” means “weary labor”. It is associated with pain, trouble, and grief. Not only did Christ suffer physical travail, but he suffered travail in his soul as well. The soul is what makes you unique. It is your living self.
At the end of a meal, my wife may ask me if I want anything else to eat. I may answer “no, I’m satisfied”. What I mean by this is that I am full and my need for food has been completely taken care of. When God was satisfied with the travail that his Son went through for my sin, the penalty for my sin was completely taken care of.
Who is this righteous servant?
“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”
It has been said that to be “justified” means “just as if I’d never sinned”. This is a good way of understanding this. Christ justified many by his sacrifice. Those who receive him as Saviour are justified. Those who choose not to receive him are not justified and must pay the penalty for their sin themselves, which is eternal punishment in the lake of fire.
“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Jesus won the war against sin and death on Calvary. Victors receive honor:
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”
Jesus Christ shares this victory with his children:
“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:”
An intercessor is one who brings a request from someone who has no power to fulfill that request to someone who has power to grant that request. Christ intercedes between us and God the Father:
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
Understandest thou what thou readest?