Isaiah 52:13-15 13See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 14Just 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— 15so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.
Isaiah 53:1-12 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2He 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. 3He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. 9He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. 10Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
The prophet Isaiah stood one day gazing high and far to the great highway of time, several 100 years into the future in the Holy Spirit. He saw with startling clarity something that would take place which would be the most important thing in God’s plan of redemption. His words that the Holy Spirit gave him are recorded for us in Isaiah 52-53.
As Isaiah gazed forward to several centuries, it came to one afternoon there outside the gates of the city of Jerusalem just before the Passover. There were 3 crosses on a mount called Golgotha, 2 of them were occupied by men who were wicked, sinners, who deserved to die and had been rightly condemned to death before the law. The centre cross was occupied by Jesus Christ who did not deserve to be there.
Let’s concentrate on Jesus. He was arrested the previous evening because one among his disciples had betrayed him. The whole night he had been terribly abused. With no proof of sin or action against Jesus he was sent to the high priest, to Pontius pilate, to Herod for trial. There were false witnesses that testified and cried – Crucify Him. Jesus was sentenced to be crucified. They put a crown of thorns in his head. The scripture says he was beaten and spit upon. His beard was plucked out. He was given to the cat of 9 tails, that terrible instrument of cruelty. Jesus was bleeding and sweating. He was led to that place where the cross was to be erected. The shock of death was on him. The soldiers stripped Jesus of his loin cloth. The cross was laid on the ground. Jesus with his back lacerated was thrown on the cross. He was nailed to the cross through his hands and his feet. They erected the cross on a hole. There he suffered and certainly it was a terrible physical suffering with excruciating pain.
Jesus is lying on the cross in the middle of the day about 12 o’ clock. Suddenly all of his creation, almost all of his creation, seemed to turn its head away and as it were to throw her hands over her eyes because creation was unable to bear to look any longer upon the one who had spoken they very creation into existence. The Father could not look upon his son and so the sun stopped shining on this world and for 3 hours there was complete darkness.
I said all of creation covered its eyes with its hands, but not quite all because one part of creation which was closest to God, that part which had been created in the very image of God continued there around the cross, even in the darkness some of them jeering him and tormenting him. So rebellious man did not cover his eyes and in the darkness the Lord Jesus Christ suffered. What was the greatest part of his suffering? I think the Holy Spirit revealed that to Isaiah in this passage.
Isaiah 52:14 Just as there were so many who were appalled at him his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.
Now I think that is speaking of something supernatural, beyond the capacity of man to suffer physically in his body. The body certainly was involved. His body was so marred if you could have seen him during those 3 hours of darkness, he would not have looked like a person because he was so disfigured beyond human likeness.
What was that made his body marred beyond human likeness? I think it was not the cat of nine tails. I think it was not the plucking of the beard or the crown of thorns. I think it is not the spitting upon him and the nails through his hands and his feet. Certainly, that evidence was there, the pain and mark of all that was there even in the darkness. His visage was so marred more than any man because of something which supernaturally was happening which could only be accomplished by God himself.
I think there in the darkness I can see some evidence of an event which had taken place sometime earlier in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ten lepers had approached him. They should not have been approaching anybody because leprosy was such a terrible disease, it just so marred the body of the individuals and it was terribly contagious in those days, there were no drugs to deal with it. The scripture does not tell us what they looked like. I think that in the group of 10 lepers there were some who were missing fingers and toes, perhaps even other parts of their limbs, their faces marred in their terrible condition. Those lepers were hopeless. That leprosy was there because of sin.
I am not telling that the 10 men had sinned in such a way that they deserved this particular punishment of leprosy. But I do know that had Adam not sinned, there would have been no leprosy or any other disease in this world. Now Jesus healed the lepers and other sickness then and now but where did that sickness go. Someone has to take out the sickness and restore healing into you.
As Jesus hangs there on the cross in the darkness in my imagination I can see those 10 lepers, every sickness of this world and his heart was moved. Dear friend his heart is moved by your sickness today.
In the darkness there hanging on the cross between 12 o clock and 3 o clock, I can see the sins of those 10 lepers and sickness and sins of all the generations before and after Jesus settling on Jesus and his body was disfigured. Sin mars, leprosy mars.
My mind goes back to the woman caught in adultery. The Jewish religious leaders brought her to Jesus and asked him what should be done about her. Under the Mosaic Law she could have been stoned. I see that poor woman, taken in adultery, perhaps already marked by the sin of immorality so that the glow is gone from her eyes and cheeks. I see that woman as she stands there with her head down. In the darkness of those 3 hours, I see that moral wickedness of that woman laid upon pure and precious Jesus. His body perhaps shattered; his body even more marred so that no one would recognize him.
I see Jesus who is taking the place of Barabbas. Barabbas was apparently a terrible man. We understand from tradition that he was a thief, he was a rebel. He was probably a murderer and Barabbas reminds me of another murderer by the name of Cain some 4000 years before the day. As Jesus was on the cross he took the sin of all of those who had spilled the blood of their fellow men by the way of murder down through the centuries. I think Jesus in his omniscience looked down the highway of time to our day as he hung there on the cross and he saw all the babies murdered in this act of abortion. Jesus saw all of that blood which cried out to God from this earth. Jesus was marked by that sin of murder as it came upon him on the cross.
A young person starts out with all the beauty, handsomeness, and vigour of youth and then makes his way into sin, perhaps alcohol, tobacco, drugs, perhaps loose living morally, perhaps murder and as the years go by, his image begins to change. The body becomes emaciated and he looses weight and becomes bony because of his sinning. Sin mars. Jesus’ body was marked by the sins of the alcoholic and the drug abuser by the sins of the adulterer, by all the wicked sins of all the man and woman down through history.
Dear friend you and I have no idea of the suffering of Jesus on that cross. I really cannot explain it, I can only announce it to you. Jesus is the one whom Isaiah had declared – Holy, Holy, Holy, perfectly holy with no sin. I can see his body shutter there on the cross in the darkness as creation covered its eyes, as the sin of all mankind, every soul who has ever lived on this earth came upon him. Isaiah says, “His visage was so marred more than any man and his form more than the sons of man.”
Look back at Isaiah 53:2b-3 He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
That describes Jesus there on the cross. The men around the cross taunted him and jeered him even in the darkness as he bore our sin. Listen, there in the darkness, hanging on the cross, Jesus looked down the highway of time and he saw you and he saw me and he saw your sins, the ones which others know about and the ones which no one knows about. He saw me and my sin and I can see Jesus’ body shutter as his visage became marred even more, dear friend by your sins which he was bearing for you.
Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, V5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. So Jesus was made sin for us, he who knew no sin. Isaiah 53:9b though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
So there is the perfect Lamb of God and there is his condition on the cross, physically abused terrible and also bearing in his body the marks of the sins of every man, woman, boy, and girl who has ever lived and ever shall live on this world.
Jesus hung there on the cross, physically tortured, marred by your sins and mine and he cried out 7 short sentences.
- Father forgive them. Luke 23:34
- Today you will be with me in paradise. Luke 23:39-39
- Dear woman here is your son. John 19:25-27
- My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 27:45-46
- I am thirsty. John 19:28-29
- It is finished. John 19:30
- Into your hands I commit my spirit. Luke 23:44-46
John 3:16 For God so loved the world (That is everybody) that whosoever (that is anybody) believeth in his shall not perish but have everlasting life. So Jesus died for all, bearing all of our sins, and if an man and a woman will come to him and believe in him and ask for forgiveness through his sacrifice, that person is forgiven and is saved from his sins.
I want you to notice his purpose though Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way.
Dear friend you have gone your own way, not God’s way, your way. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. Why did Jesus come to this earth in his first advent? He did not come to rescue Israel from the heel of the Romans. Many people thought that is why he came but they misunderstood. Jesus came for a reason much more important than that. He came for a generation before and beyond and for his own generation. He came for you, he came so that he could take your sins upon himself and bring you on the way back to God.
The word he bore our suffering is speaking of bearing our grief, sins, and carrying our sorrow. Jesus literally lifted them up and carried them away. Is it not wonderful?
What did God accomplish there that day?
Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. It was God the Father who was giving Jesus, his only begotten son. I cannot comprehend that. I do not think there is a man or a woman here if you are thinking right will give your child like that. That is not an act of cruelty on the Father’s part. That is beyond our ability as human beings to understand. God the Father so loved you even as a sinner that he gave his only begotten son, He bruised him, he put him to grief as he sacrificed for you there.
Isaiah 53:11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
There when Jesus shuttered on the cross time after time, as he was becoming sin for us, the father saw him through that darkness, he saw the travail of Jesus’ soul and he was satisfied.
V11b by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Now listen to me. Jesus died and took upon himself the sins of the whole world. Every human being who has lived or who has ever lived, Jesus took their sins upon himself. But you will notice in v11 that by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Just because Jesus came and hung on the cross that day, became sin for you does not mean that you are alright. It is not an automatic salvation. First you need to have the knowledge of Jesus mission, life and death. Jesus did that for you but there is a responsibility on your part. But you have a responsibility. The Bible says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” You must receive that gift of forgiveness and salvation. Your heart must respond with this knowledge. You must say within your heart, “I want that, I need that.”
CONCLUSION: I would like to invite you right this moment to do that. All you need to do down in your heart, sincerely you need to say to the Lord Jesus Christ, “I am a sinner, my sins marred you, I believe that you are the son of God and you came to save me. I am asking you please forgive my sins and save me and make me your child.”
Dear friend if you will pray that prayer in your heart right now God will save you and your sins will be forgiven. I pray that the Lord will move your heart to do that.
Now I want to speak to all believers here. Why are you carrying the burden of sin? Are you suffering with different sins, sickness, problems, witchcraft? The blood of Jesus can transform your right now. Jesus died so that he can save you. He because a curse so that you can be blessed. There is power in the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus cleanses us, protects us, give us victory.
The song writer wrote:
Would you be free from the burden of sin? There is power in the Blood.
Would you over evil a victory win? There’s wonderful power in the Blood
There is power, power wonder working power In the Blood of the Lamb
There is power, power wonder working power In the precious Blood of the Lamb
Revelation 12:11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.
By the power of the blood of Jesus the angels overcame the Satan for one last time. We can overcome every attack of the devil by the power we have in the blood of Jesus Christ.