Linden University Presbyterian Church, Las Cruces, NM
The flow of
Isaiah just prior to chapter 49 has emphasized Israel’s sin. God restrains His
wrath because His glory as God depends on His people Israel not being destroyed
(48:9,10) even though just retribution is what they deserved. If God delayed
judgment on sin forever (48:9), that would violate the glory of His justice. It
was always His plan to save His people from sin, so that He can say without
qualification, “I am your God and you are my people” (Leviticus 26:12). For
God’s words to make sense, Israel
must be His people in spiritual reality. He cannot have rebels as His covenant
people perpetually! Since they are unable to obey or atone for their sins, God
will send a Savior. God is the Savior (45:15) and He sends (48:16) Christ to be
born (49:1) a Savior (Luke 2:11). Thus Christ will not only be part of the
people of Israel, He is Israel. This
means that God is Israel’s
God, and Christ has become the true people of God. God is now on both sides of
the covenant, the divine and the human.
now focuses on the ministry of Christ.
The ‘salvation’ Cyrus brought was not the greatest deliverance. Salvation by the Servant is from sin, and this
not for Israel
only but for the nations of the world. Isaiah 49 has the second of four Servant
Songs. In the first and fourth, the Lord
speaks of Him. In the second and third songs, the Lord Jesus speaks.
Just as the Lord ordered Israel
to listen to Him in 48:12, Christ, speaking as God, uses the same “Listen to
me”. In His earthly ministry, Christ spoke with that same divine authority when
He said, “I tell you” (Matthew 5-7). Other prophets spoke for the Lord; Christ spoke
as the Lord. The Lord spoke to the ends of the earth in 45:22, and the Servant
does the same in v.1. Yet this servant is called
(v.1) and sent (48:16); both words show
He serves under authority of the Father Who called, the Father Who sent.
Being called before birth sounds like Jeremiah 1:5. The
first mention of Christ in the Bible is as the seed of a woman in Genesis 3:15.
The first prediction of His coming in Isaiah is that He will be born to a
virgin woman (7:14). The Hebrew words in 49:1 are literally “my mother’s body.” Scripture keeps
alive the importance of Christ being born of a woman (Galatians 4:4). The
Servant will become a human being.
49:2 His mouth All four Servant Songs refer to the speech
of Christ. In the first, is His gentleness and humility (42:2); in the second,
His skill and effectiveness (v.2); in the third, His faithfulness to the
message received from His Father (50:4), and in the fourth, His purity with no deceit in His mouth (53:9). All these
qualities were evident in the ministry of Christ. He spoke the Word of God with
precision and skill to the issue at hand (Matthew 22:47). Both sword and arrow
are weapons, but the emphasis here in v.2 is on well-chosen words. The God of
Israel speaks in His Son (Hebrews 1:1,2).
Christ is both concealed and revealed. In God’s good time He
came (Galatians 4:4). The Messiah was promised in the Garden when Adam and Eve
fell into sin. Yet the choice of His mother and the Name “Jesus” were withheld
till the time of His conception and birth (Luke 1:32; Matthew 1:21). The idea
of a polished arrow in a quiver shows readiness; concealment of that arrow
indicates that there is a limitation in the details of God’s revelation. God
has His secrets (Deuteronomy 29:29).
His name is now said to be Israel.
In Genesis 35:10, Jacob was given that name, which means “prince with God”.
However, the history of that people was a pattern of unfaithfulness; they had
no right to that good name (48:1,2). Jesus is the true vine (John 15:1) in
contrast to Israel
(5:7). In a similar way He is the true Israel. The gospel is that God has
sent a Person worthy of the name.
When God says, “I will be your God,” He makes that statement
in integrity. When the people of Israel say, “And we will be your
people,” it was not held to faithfully in any period of their history (48:8).
If faithfulness is found on one side of the covenant only, how can a covenant
with God be kept from being a farce? The answer is found outside every man on
earth but one! God said in 46:12,13 to people “far from righteousness” that He
is bringing His righteousness near. In 49:3, the Lord calls the Servant He is
so Christ is shown to be the true people of God. Thus God on His side of the
covenant continues as the faithful Lord, but now with Christ on our side of the covenant, finally there
is a man faithful to a profession of covenantal allegiance. This man, Jesus
Christ, is the One in Whom God displays His splendor. In all of history, there
has been one man only who could truthfully say, “I have come to do your will, O
God” (Hebrews 10:5-7). This is the Servant Who became a covenant for us.
in Conduct and Lawbreaker by Imputation If only the Bible will teach that we may be
represented by Christ and united to Him, then we can be saved and found to be
faithful covenantal members in the faithfulness of Someone Else! This, of
course, is what the gospel is in relation to justification. Christ represents His people: Hebrews 5:1;
6:19,20; 7:25 – 8:2; 9:24. His people are united
to Him: Colossians 3:1-3; Romans 16:7; 1 Corinthians15:18,22; Galatians
3:28; Ephesians 2:6.
is the Lord Who was the Lawgiver on Mount Sinai. He entered human life, the only lawkeeper in history. He who knew no
sin, for His people became sin (i.e., assuming the guilt of sin, but not our sinfulness,
2 Corinthians 5:21). Thus He was identified before God as the lawbreaker, our sin being imputed to
Him. As the One declared guilty in our place, He was executed on the cross as
the unfaithful covenant breaker we are. By His Resurrection, He was declared to
be the faithful lawkeeper He was. On Friday He took our place as a sinner; on
Sunday He was given His due reward for the righteousness that is truly His. All
who are united to Him by faith receive His righteousness to their account, and
shall share His resurrection (Ephesians 1:18-20; Philippians 3:7-11).
who repent and believe in Jesus, receive His law-keeping status as a gift. The
Lord also gives His Holy Spirit to produce law-keeping in us. Eventually at His
appearance, salvation will be completed when all who are His will be like
Him. Then we will be truly faithful. All
this is for God’s wayward people, only because God sent Christ to be the true Israel (49:3).
God has shown His glory to His people, but Isaiah never says that any
individual or Israel
reveals the glory of God. With the Servant it is different, for in this unique
Person God’s splendor is displayed fully (Colossians 1:19; 2:3).
This verse reveals the genuine humanness of Christ. As man, He could be
thirsty and tired (John 4:4-7); as the Lord, He upholds all things with
untiring strength (Hebrews 1:3). As man, He was made like His brothers in every
way (apart from sin) and could feel the pull of temptation (Hebrews 2:17,18).
Here in v.4, as a man with the limitations of human understanding; with human
emotions He feels despondent in His work. What does He see for all His effort?
While as a man He did not see all the workings of God, He did trust God to
bring success in His labor. Work was assigned to Him, but the results were in
the hand of God. So it is with all God’s servants. His need was met by a
promise from the Lord (vv.5,6).
Jesus the man knew He was formed in His mother’s womb to be the Lord’s
Servant. He knew His assignment was a task so impossible it would overwhelm any
prophet. It was a difficult assignment the prophets just to speak to rebellious
To be commissioned to bring them back to the Lord, would be beyond any man. But
He was not left without resources; God was His strength. And God did not send
Him to do something in which God would allow failure. The Holy Spirit (48:16)
was empowerment (John 3:34). He was filled with the Spirit to do His work (Luke
4:1,4,14). He did not fulfill a divine assignment in human strength.
Operating in the strength of God (Who speaks of His great power in
chapter 40), Christ is given an enlarged mission – He is to bring the Gentiles
too. Raising up Israel,
weighed down in sin, is too large an assignment for others and too small for
Him. He will not save each and every soul in Israel, but those God has kept –
another way to refer to the chosen remnant. He is not like others who only
bring a message; Christ is the message; He is the light to the Gentiles (John
8:12). He is the Savior of nations to the ends of the earth (Psalm 27:1).
The Great Commission
given to Christ is one shared with His fellow workers (2 Corinthians 6:1; John
20:21). The Great Commission is not
two but one; it is to the Son from the Father, and to the church from the Son.
No task that falls on Christ can fail, even when shared with us. The guarantee
of its success is the power of God in Christ through the Spirit. In Acts
13:46-48, the apostles quoted Isaiah 49:6 in reference to their work, which had
been committed to the Servant Christ. Obviously, His work had become theirs.
The words are to the Servant. Christ spoke in vv.1-6; the Father now
replies. (In v.6 the Father was quoted by the Servant.) He had expressed His
emotional distress in the difficulty He faced; He also expressed faith in the
One Who had sent Him (v.4). Now He receives assurance from His faithful Father
of astounding success in His work. Two things difficult to fit together are
revealed. First, He will be despised and abhorred by the world. Then, second,
the world’s kings will worship him. (This is close in thought to 52:14,15).
Here is a clear word that the Messiah will be rejected (Luke 24:25,26; 1 Peter
1:10,11). In Hebrew the text does not say, “Kings will see you”, but,
“Kings will see”; not until 52:13 will it say what they will see. The nations
of 2:1-4 will come to the Lord as a result of the ministry of Christ. It is no
surprise that the gospel did not go to all the earth until after the coming of
the Lord answered Him, this shows He prayed. Frequent prayer was part of His
ministry (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:28; John 17:9). What was
prayed is implied in the answer given in vv.8,9 and the difficulty expressed in
v.4. The answer is of God’s help in His mission, the same thing implied in “I
will be with you” (Matthew 28:20). The “day of salvation” began in His time on
earth (2 Corinthians 6: 2, a verse Paul uses to encourage his readers). We now
live in the day of salvation; this text does not speak of an age future to
ours. Christ is bringing the Gentiles to
obedience now (Romans 15:8-21).
a Covenant for His People This verse repeats 42:6,
“I will keep you and will make you to be
a covenant for the people. V.8
is clearer that it is as a man that the Servant will be a covenant. God can be
Savior as God (45:21) but He cannot be our priest or representative as God; for
Him to do that, God must become man. The one mediator between God and men is
the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). To be the mediator of a new covenant for
the people (Hebrews 9:15), He must meet covenant demands and obligations for
us; we are unable to do that. For our sins, He must “become sin”, so as to
suffer the law’s sanction and curse (death). For our needed obedience, He must
obey, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God and receive God’s
blessing (life) (Galatians 3:10-14; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21). God said
He would bring His righteousness near (46:13); in Christ He has done so. Vv.8,9
list blessings that come from being in covenant in Christ: security, enjoyment,
liberation and transformation. He does not hand out eternal blessings
indiscriminately; they come to those who are united to Him by faith (Romans
6:1-14; 8:17; 1 Corinthians 1:4,5,9,30;
3:21-23; 6:15-17; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22).
journey back Isaiah has
written of the exodus from Egypt and the return from Babylon; now he writes in
similar terms of yet another return – one under Christ. Just as escape from Babylon was a deliverance
under God’s ally Cyrus, so the journey back to the Lord from sin is a kind of
return. The preceding chapters show that God would save from Babylon (48:20) and also blot out their transgressions
(43:25). These parallels have been in this section beginning in chapter 40. In
vv.9-11, the metaphors of compassionate provision and protection are used. God
will ensure their return by removing barriers. These verses ought to be read as
a description of the benefits brought to God’s people by Christ in the future
Day of Salvation (v.8). The Old
Testament presents three great redemptive events: 1) from Egypt, 2) from Babylon and 3) from sin. This paragraph
has in mind the third. Those being saved do not come from Egypt only, or from one direction such as Babylon; they come “from
the north, some from the west [the opposite direction from Babylon!], some from the region of ________” an
uncertain place. Different Bible versions suggest different names for this last
unclear location, which some think is a reference to China! The directions in v.12, just
like Matthew 8:11, fit only deliverance #3.
the first Servant Song, there is singing (42:10-12). The ransomed enter Zion with singing (51:11);
in v.13, singing expresses joy. The mission of Christ was to Israel and the
Gentiles, so this song has all heaven and earth singing. The people of v.13
must now include the Gentiles also. The compassion of vv.10 & 13 is the
love that has redeemed sinners (1 John 4:10,11,19).
The Setting of the third
49:14 – 50:3 sets up an
introduction for the next Servant Song. After all the good news of 49:1-13,
five stanzas follow dealing with Israel’s response. All five have
some reference to sons or mothers. In the first (vv.14-17), Zion speaks, complaining in unbelief (v.14). The
next four stanzas begin with the Lord speaking (vv.18, 22, 25, & 50:1). In
the first four, the Lord affirms His care for them. Yet, in spite of all He has
done, they do not respond in faith (50:1,2). Zion’s complaint is false, but in the last of
the five stanzas (50:1-3), God’s complaint is true (50:2). A great contrast is
being set up, because Christ is the very opposite of unbelief and disobedience.
The Servant of the Lord listens obediently to the word of His Father.
49:14-18 It is important to see who is speaking. It is
Zion (v.14), then the Lord (vv.14-20), Zion’s children (v.20), and then Zion again (v.21). Israel might believe its own
fiction that the Lord had forgotten them, but in order to believe such a thing,
they had to overlook and forget all the things the Lord reminds them of in His
reply in vv.15-26.
He begins with a direct rebuttal of their complaint, using the heart of
a mother for her child as an analogy of His care for them. A mother could
possibly forget her child, but the Lord never. It is as if He had carved their
names on His hands to keep them before Him at all times. He is diligent not to
forget them. Jerusalem’s
walls, torn down by their enemy, are on His mind. The love of the Lord will be
seen in the return to that place with its walls down; they would build their
city again. Later when rebuilding, they would read in Isaiah that God kept
those walls in His plans for them. The news is doubly good; they would return
and the enemy would be gone. Later when they saw a multitude of their Jewish
people back in their land, these words would stand as a testimony that God had remembered
saying “all of them” (i.e. your sons), readers of Isaiah would be puzzled
because the number of those returning from captivity was quite small (Ezra 2),
even though the entire nation was called to leave Babylon (48:20). This emphasis on “all” is a
clue that Isaiah has in mind more than just those who returned. The nations
will be coming (2:1-4), their old enemies Egypt
and Assyria among them (19:18-25). Where will
they put everyone (54:1-3)? The whole earth will be full of the knowledge of
the Lord (11:9). The land will be too small (vv.19,20), which means the return
has many more people return than those who left! In this way Isaiah looks ahead
to the salvation of the nations. The many returning will be worn as jewelry
(v.18), showing how happy they will be about what the Lord has done.
will change what it says about her Lord. Instead of the complaint of v.14, they
will ask in amazement where all these children have came from? The text makes
clear that this is a supernatural development, because the ‘bereaved’ are
widows and the ‘barren’ are those who cannot bear children – both words
indicate the children will not come by natural means. The “where have they come
from?” can only be answered in reference to the Lord Who has done the opposite
of forsaking and forgetting. He has multiplied a people who once were ruined
and desolate. Once Zion
could say, “I was left all alone”; later she is unable to account for all the
The Lord began His nation with a
supernatural birth. Ishmael, the natural son, was not the son of promise. Only
when Abraham’s body was dead did he father a son through a barren wife (Genesis
16-21; Romans 4:16-25). God was most deliberate to establish at the very
beginning of the nation that true entrance into it was by supernatural not
ordinary means. Paul again makes this same point in Galatians 4:21-31 when he
insists that those who inherit with Abraham are children of promise born by the
power of the Spirit, children of Abraham by faith (Galatians 3:26-29). Isaiah
teaches that those who come are not the result of the natural growth of a
nation. The Babylonian captivity resulted in a great decrease of the nation, while
God by bringing in Gentiles increased it. Today those who call the God of
Abraham their God greatly outnumber the natural descendents of Abraham. Because
Jesus bore the sin of many (53:12), the barren woman with no husband would need
a larger tent to hold the newcomers (54:1-3). In 49:21, Zion is bereaved and barren yet amazed at the
number of children. In 6:11-13 & 9:6, Isaiah prophesied both the decrease
and the increase of Christ’s kingdom. In this way Romans 11:11-32 is
49:22,23 From vast numbers, Isaiah now speaks of
another turnaround that Israel
could never expect. In 5:26 the Lord called Gentile nations to destroy His
rebellious people; Isaiah now says those nations will serve them. This was not
fulfilled by Cyrus allowing the Jews to return. This is far more; kings and
queens bow before them in gratitude. It is 1 Corinthians 14:25 at work. All the
Sovereign Lord has to do is beckon and the Gentiles will obey. When such
‘impossibilities’ are fulfilled (Luke 18:27), Israel will know that the Lord is
God. (I believe that God will use His fulfillment of such promises in their
Scriptures to bring massive numbers of Jews to believe in Christ, according to
Romans 11:22-32). Some day it will sink in that Gentiles in vast numbers all
over the planet consciously call on the God of Israel as the only God. The God they so ardently confess is defined first
of all in the Scriptures of the Jews: the Torah, the prophets and the psalms
(poetical writings). We pray for God’s Spirit to bring this about quickly.
The theme thus far in the five stanzas has moved from the Lord not
forgetting, giving many children, and turning Gentile hearts to serve them. Now
this stanza speaks of liberation. God will take captives away from warriors.
Their oppressors will destroy themselves.
the Justice of God There is another important element in
vv.24,25: What if the captives are held righteously? The Hebrews text of v.24
speaks of a “righteous captor”, though not all translations make this clear.
God does not set all captives free. He too has captives; His hell is not empty.
All of God’s people are sinners, so if He sets free guilty captives, He must
deal with the matter of His justice. Salvation cannot come by God setting aside
justice. On the cross the Lord Jesus was satisfying divine justice, not evading
it. This truth appears here in v.25 as “I myself will plead your cause” or take
on Himself responsibility for our sin! God does not violate His righteous
character when He forgives sinners, because Christ took our sin on Himself. He
endured what our sins deserve: the holy consuming fire that descended on Christ
on the cross. Thus when the Lord says, “Your sons I will save,” it is more than
liberation from human enemies; it is liberation from the wrath of God. This
stanza says the Lord will save, then ends with four labels to describe Himself:
the Lord, your Savior, your Redeemer and the Mighty One of Jacob.
49:15-28 it should be clear the Lord has not forgotten Zion. This stanza will show who has forgotten
whom. When the Lord called them, there was no response, no one to answer. 49:15
opens with a question; in vv.1,2 questioning continues. The charge against the
Lord was that of forsaking and forgetting. A woman left by her husband is
forsaken, and the child neglected is forgotten. To say God has forsaken is to accuse
Him of insufficient love to stay with His bride. The Lord answers with
affirmations of love in 49:15-26. He did not leave Zion; in fact, when He came (v.2) He found no
one to answer, so the charge of forsaking should be reversed.
In the Mosaic law, when a man divorced his wife, he was to
give her a certificate of divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). He could never have her
back again. V.1 indicates God had given no such certificate, so it is not true
that God had forsaken Zion.
The charge of forsaking is false. Likewise, there is no record with creditors
of His having sold the sons into slavery. So He has not forgotten the children.
Zion cannot say
God has rejected them. His policy with Zion
is reconciliation. Why were they “sold” and the mother “sent away”? It was
because of their sin, but that does not mean the Lord would not return when the
chastening of the Babylonian captivity is over. His coming to them (v.2) was to
have them back. That is God’s real attitude towards them. Just as in 5:4, God
asks why there is no response – a fitting question after the theme of His
50:2,3 The Lord raises questions of His power and
replies with declarations of His strength at work for them in creation. They
are reminiscent of the exodus on dry ground through the Red
Sea, and the darkness upon the Egyptians (Exodus 10:21). God used
the word “ransom”, which implies payment of a price to liberate His people. It
is Christ Who would one day give His life as a ransom (Mark 10:45). 50:1-3
tells of a lack of response by God’s people; no one answered. But the Lord does
have One Who will listen to Him, namely His Servant, obedient to every word
that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3). The Servant’s ear has
been opened (v.5). The Lord has only one such man, and it is through that man
and His attentive obedience that we are saved.
The Third Servant Song Isaiah 50:4-9 The other side of this extended contrast depicts Christ, the true Israel (49:3), as the opposite of Israel’s
unbelief and disobedience. Special emphasis is made in the third Servant Song
on how diligently the Servant of the Lord listens to the word of His Father, a
prerequisite for anyone who would be a servant. This song will also expand on
49:7. The Lord Jesus is going to suffer greatly. Here, Christ is the One speaking. He listens and obeys,
faithfully referring to His Father as the His Sovereign Lord four times. So in a
great trial at the hands of wicked men, the Lord Jesus in submission to the
Word of the Lord, offered Himself, all the while trusting the One Who would
prove to be His Vindicator.
is the Prophet, Priest, and King of His people. Reference in v.4 to His tongue
and the words He would speak reveal His role as prophet. Since He speaks only
what He hears, it is His listening that is central to this song. His tongue is
instructed, taught in a process of daily discipline, for the Lord woke Him to
listen every morning. In the Gospel of John, the Lord repeated this theme: He
learned from His Father (John 15:15) teaching what was not His own (John 7:16),
but belonged to the Father Who sent Him (John 14:24). Speech shows up in all
four Servant Songs. His words are: gentle in #1 (42:2); incisive in #2 (49:2);
instructed in #3 (50:4) and pure in #4 (53:9). The tongue that benefits others
comes from the receptive ear that listens to God’s Word.
listening was far more than receiving information. Christ obeyed when sent on a
difficult mission. He did not rebel; His listening is obedient. The Son received
the word from the Father, Who loved the world and would give His Son. From such
a mission the Servant did not draw back or turn away. He deliberately offered
His back, and cheeks and face to His tormentors in obedience to His Sovereign
Lord. He not only did not resist (53:7), He died on the cross not because He
was captured, but because He came to do His Father’s will, offering His body as
a sacrifice (Hebrews 10:5-14).
descriptions of His suffering are given. 1) The beaten back is a flogging
ordinarily done to criminals. This is suggestive of the truth that Jesus would
be treated as a guilty criminal under Pilate, though Pilate knew the charge was
false (Matthew 27:23,24). 2) Pulling the beard is an act of torture. 3) Mocking
and spitting are acts of humiliation. Of these, the New Testament reports the
flogging, mocking, and spitting. It never mentions Jesus’ beard but does show
that His death included extreme pain. Luke 18:31-33: Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the
Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will
mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he
will rise again."
The confidence of the Lord Jesus was that what He would endure at the
cross was not final. His suffering would be followed by glory (1 Peter 1:11). This is similar to the prediction
of Christ’s sufferings in Psalm 22:1-21, followed by vindication and joy in vv.
22-31. His plea on the cross was to the Father Who sent Him there (22:1). His
help was from the same Lord in Psalm 22:24. The three things mentioned in v.6
are repeated in some form in v.7: the disgrace will end; the face from which
they pull His beard is the same face He set in resolute obedience to go to the
cross (Luke 9:51). For the criminality implied by flogging, He waits for His
Father to vindicate Him of all charges.
50:8,9 The Vindication The song emphasizes the forensic aspect of
Christ’s death. Isaiah 53 also connects His death with sin, but always the sin
of others – not His. The mistaken view of Him was that He was smitten by God
and deserved to be (53:4). He was assigned a grave with the wicked. His death
as a criminal had no indictment of His personal righteousness. By the
resurrection of Christ, God vindicated His claim that He was the Son of God
(Romans 1:4) – this declaration of Jesus’ right to life as a righteous man was
done through the Spirit of holiness. Wicked men put Him to death, but God, in
approval of Him, raised Him from the dead (Acts 2:22-24). Throughout the Lord’s
time of humiliation, many charges were made against Him verbally. The
resurrection is God’s reply in action and answers them all forever. His
accusers will vanish like a moth-eaten garment.
Christ the Vindication of His People The Lord Jesus was vindicated in His own personal righteousness. The
gospel is that we are justified in that same righteousness – His, never ours.
In justification we are given “the gift of righteousness” (Romans 5:17), a gift
based entirely on His obedience (Romans 5:19), and imputed to the one who
believes in Christ (Romans 4:24). The Christian’s only vindication, relieving
him of the accusation of sins actually committed, is Christ. For this reason no
one can bring any charge against God’s elect. When God justifies, He cannot
turn around and do the opposite, which is to condemn. Any attempt to charge the
justified would have to be made in the same court in which the accused sinner
has already been declared not guilty! Nor will Christ condemn. How could He? He
is the One Who died to move such charges from His people to Himself! And to all
this we must add that He still intercedes for them in heaven, turning away all
accusations against them (Romans 8:31-39). His appeal, based on His
substitutionary death, always prevails.
The Bible teaches the justification of Christ in His
obedience in Isaiah 50, One who always listened to His Father and obeyed. It
also teaches the justification of all represented by Jesus, who are declared
righteous by God on the basis of the obedience found in Jesus’ conduct. Christ
cannot be condemned for sin since He had none, and believers cannot be
condemned for theirs because Christ was condemned for them when the Lord laid
on Him the iniquity of us all (53:6).
This section ends with an exhortation. Christ has been the obedient
Servant. Now He is presented as the model to follow in similar trials. God’s
people may have no natural light to help them, and they like Christ in His
humiliation on earth must trust the word of the Lord. Fear, obey, trust, and
rely all go together. Others walk in their own wisdom, i.e., their own light.
In doing so, they reject the Word of God; in the end they lie down in torment,
a reward for their rebellion, a reward received from the hand of the Lord.
Isaiah has shown we are saved by the work of Christ. In this paragraph, he
shows that the obedience of Christ is also the model (1 Peter 2:21) for living in
this present evil age (Galatians 1:4).
In the second and third Servant Songs, Isaiah opens the
suffering of Christ. The Holy Spirit has reserved for the last Servant Song
(52:13-53:12) the most comprehensive explanation of the cross in the Old
The Holy Covenant Lord God
The Covenant People
Israel apart from
Holy Covenant God
Sinful covenant people
►Christ as Israel◄
Holy Covenant God
Holy Covenant Man !
Christ in this life
Holy Covenant God
yet righteous in Christ
have died in Christ
Holy Covenant God
Righteous spirits, perfect in holiness
Believers at the
coming of Christ
Holy Covenant God
Righteous, resurrected humans
walking with God in perfect holiness