Friday, February 1, 2013

Our Substitute


Our Substitute
Isaiah 53:1-5
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.


The name Isaiah means: Salvation of the Lord. Isaiah’s prophecy of 66 chapters is divided the same way the Bible is divided. The Bible has 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. Isaiah has 39 chapters in the first half, which speaks of the coming judgment and captivity and in the last 27 chapters, the theme is of grace and salvation. Isaiah is prophecy. It is a look into the future a vision given to Isaiah 700 years before Jesus came. There have been many visions in the Bible but none surpass the vision God gave Isaiah depicting the cross and that which would follow.

He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free! 
For, O my God it found out me!

The Pharisees accused Him of being a blasphemer claiming to be equal with God and that God killed Him for His blasphemies. Surely, He didn’t die for His own sin. He didn’t die for His own iniquities. He didn’t die for His own transgressions. He didn’t die because He was a blasphemer like they thought He was. He didn’t die because God killed Him for claiming deity. It was our griefs He bore. It was our sorrows He carried. He was pierced, crushed, chastened, scourged for us. He took our place, died in our stead, gave His life for us. He was our substitution for sin. Jesus is the scapegoat.  He takes our sin and its full punishment, pays for it in full. One day when we enter into heaven, there will be no more sin and no more effects. He took away from us all that belonged to us, all that we should have felt by way of judgment, pain, devastation, even eternal punishment and put it on Himself.

No condemnation now I dread; 
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him my living Head, 
 And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approached the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Charles Wesley wrote the song, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?” after coming to Christ. On Sunday, May 21, 1738 Charles wrote, “I now found myself at peace with God, and rejoiced in hope of loving Christ. I saw that by faith I stood.” The Wesley brothers didn’t come to know Christ until after they had failed as missionaries in the new colony of Georgia in America. Charles Wesley’s song is a vivd testimony of Isaiah 53:4, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray––
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free, 
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Amazing love, How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Thought: We as Christians are so deeply moved by the amazing realities of Isaiah 53. The details known and revealed hundreds of years before they came to pass point to Christ and no other. We know that there is salvation in no other name than Christ. We pray that today would be the day of salvation for you dear friend, who, in asking for the forgiveness of sin, that only comes through Christ, will know you have eternal life which is promised to all who believe. 

We pray the Lord will help us to understand the urgency of the times in which we live, the urgency of evangelism in bringing the gospel to people who need so much to hear this and how will they hear if there’s no one to preach? We need to proclaim this glorious gospel and tell sinners that this is the acceptable time. This is the hour of grace. Nothing matters more than proclaiming that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (Him) (John 14:6.)

Romans 10:14,15 ~ How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

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