TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Isaiah 52 & 53
BOTTOM LINE: The Suffering of our Jesus was UGLY! But … Necessary to bring Love, Grace and Hope!
QUESTION: Did You Know the Details of the Suffering of Jesus was Clearly Shared in Isaiah?
Isaiah 53 is often a message that is unpacked in what is called The Lenten Season, which actually begins officially March 6th this year … thru April 18th [right before EASTER Sunday]. It’s 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to EASTER Sunday, and it’s a time when Followers of Jesus often Give Up Something [a time of fasting … a time of refraining from something] in honor of Jesus fasting in the Wilderness.
Advent is often an eager time of anticipation and joy around the arrival of Jesus. Lent is a time to of self-reflection. Often times, to bring our own personal Sin and Struggles to the surface, and an opportunity to contemplate what our Lord really did for us on the cross … and it wasn’t pretty!
ONE: An UGLYServant.
First of all … we notice that the servant here is called An UGLY Servant.
Isaiah here takes a look at what’s called The Ugly Servant… some title this section The Ugly Christ check this out: Isaiah 52:14 …“14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness …”
Isaiah’s intent is not to tell us what the Servant looks like. In fact, the entire Scripture is silent on this question! Rather, Isaiah wants to tell us about the Servants Humiliation … Pain … Suffering & Anguish!
The suffering Servant: this Ugliness of it was see here, wasn’t limited to the Cross either. Isaiah talks about the Humble beginnings of Jesus in his song in chapter 53…Isaiah 53:2 …“2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.”
Jesus Stays Quiet …
And in all of this, our Suffering Servant [Jesus] literally remains silent. He doesn’t even attempt to defend Himself.
And even though Jesus was Innocent … He was treated as one who was Guilty!
TWO: A SAVING Servant.
The 2nd thing I think we have to see here is our Suffering Servant was also a SAVING SERVANT!
Jesus being a Saving Servant was God’s Plan all along … Isaiah 53:6b, 10a …“6 … the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all … it was the LORD’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer …”
The Servant Christ … suffered … according to the Will of God … telling us …
- … just a glimpse of how much God hates our sin.
- He did whatever it took to create a path for Forgiveness …
- … a glimpse of how much God Loves Us too!
- He loves us so much He did whatever it took to save us from our own Sin!
THREE: A GLORIFIED Servant.
The last thing we notice is that our Suffering Servantis also a Glorified Servant! Check out how Isaiah’s song ends in chapter 53…
Isaiah 53:11-13 …“11 After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life and be satisfied … Therefore, I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong.
… See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.”
There is no doubt that Jesus Christ IS the Glorified Servant. He is glorified in the Resurrection we will celebrate together in a few weeks, where He is the only person in all of History to conquer Sin & Death.
He’s Glorified in His ascension back to the Throne room of Heaven as our Great King. Jesus is Glorified in the ministry of His Spirit and the empowerment of the Church.
And, as we looked last week, Jesus will be Glorified again when He returns [even in the time of Judgment of both the Living & the Dead].
The Suffering of our Servant …
- It’s an Ugly Picture in many Ways … hard to imagine all that really took place … and even crazier to think how God shared this w/ the Prophet Isaiah long before Jesus even arrived here on earth too … huh?
- It’s the journey of Christ … our Suffering Servant … that gives us Life … Life here on this earth to the full … and Life eternal when He calls us Home.
- The faithfulness of Jesus brings a Glorification of God that was … and is … and is to come!
2,000 years ago … on Calvary’s Cross … The Ugly Servant– died FOR Sin
BUT … there were 2 other Crosses … weren’t there?
ONE … occupied by a CRIMINAL dying IN Sin …
THE OTHER … occupied by a CRIMINAL dying TO Sin …
Either … we reject Jesus and we Die IN Sin?
Or … we exchange our life w/ the Life, Death and Resurrection of God’s Son, and by the Grace of God … we Die TO Sin.