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April 9

10  Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the LORD shall prosper. 11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53:10-12

It was the first Easter, and Jesus was on the road to Emmaus explaining to two disciples the meaning of the cross: “Was it not necessary,” Jesus began, “that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:26-27).

Jesus accepted that suffering for the salvation of the world was his Father’s plan for him. He had always known that it was “necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things” as foretold by the prophets. And it is in today’s text that the prophet Isaiah writes the strange, inscrutable, impenetrable words concerning Jesus: “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain.” Hard words, but such was God’s love for us, that he willed to crush his Son that he might gain many sons and daughters.

Scottish Biblical scholar, George Adam Smith (1856-1942), describes the abuse heaped upon Jesus: “The innocent servant was put to a violent and premature death. Public apathy closed over him and the unmarked earth of a felon’s grave. It is so utter a perversion of justice, so signal a triumph of wrong over right, so final a disappearance into oblivion of the fairest life which ever lived that men might be tempted to say God has forsaken his own.”

But the Lord does not forsake his own. Even as the Lord wills for his Son to “make his life an offering for sin,” and pour out “himself to death,” so the Lord wills his Son to enter into glory. Because Jesus suffered for the redemption of the world, “Out of his anguish he shall see light.” Because he has been so utterly crushed and humiliated he will be exalted over all.

The Lord promises his Son that he will not die childless, but “He shall see his offspring.” Dead men do not see their children, but the Son will see his children as he is raised, and with him a great host of sons and daughters entering into glory with him (Romans 8:16-17, 19).

By all accounts the world judged the crucified Jesus to be a failure, an embarrassment, but the Lord’s verdict is that “through him the will of the LORD shall prosper” and “the righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous.”

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!”

– Phillip Bliss, Hallelujah! What a Savior


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