Sermon Recap: In this week’s sermon, we look at Christ’s third prediction (cf. 9:22; 44) of His coming suffering, death and resurrection. Throughout the gospel narratives, we see Jesus resolutely moving towards Jerusalem; He is moving towards the cross. And while the Bible makes it clear that sinful men unjustly seized Jesus and put Him to death, we see the ultimate reason for His sacrificial death as His own willingness to accomplish the will of God. Jesus willingly gave Himself to the work of redemption to accomplish the will of God.
Sermon Connection: This theme—the atoning death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for sins—is the central theme of the Scriptures. It makes sense, then, that we would find this theme all throughout the Bible, even before Jesus was physically born on the earth. During the prophet Isaiah’s time on the earth, the Holy Spirit used him to boldly proclaim the holiness of God and the coming of the Lord’s Messiah. In Isaiah 52:13-53:12, we find a detailed glimpse of the atoning death of the Lord’s Servant, Jesus. We see that He would suffer unjustly at the hands of sinful men, but that He also willingly gave Himself to the work of redemption, and that in the end, praise be to God, He prospered and flourished the Lord’s plan of redemption.
Lesson Goal: To understand that Jesus Christ clearly and willingly gave Himself to the work of redemption
Point 1 - The Servant Achieves Redemption. (52:13-15)
Point 2 - The Servant Lived in Rejection. (53:1-3)
Point 3 - The Servant Bore the Sins of the People. (53:4-6)
Point 4 - The Servant Dies in Innocence. (53:7-9)
Point 5 - The Servant was Crushed but now Stands Victorious. (53:10-12)
The Context: Writing some 700 years before the physical birth of Jesus on the earth, Isaiah, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote these words of prophecy concerning the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. By utilizing a Redemptive-Historical Hermeneutic,1 we understand that the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 is the Jesus, the Messiah!
Opening Question: When did you first sense your need for Jesus? What made you most interested in Jesus?
Point 1 - The Servant Achieves Redemption (52:13-15)
The phrase “act wisely” can also be translated “flourish/prosper.” How does this idea of Jesus flourishing/prospering through being lifted up and marred help us to understand the work of redemption?
What does verse 15 teach us about the effect of Jesus’ victory on the people of the earth?
Point 2 - The Servant Lived in Rejection (53:1-3)
What does 53:2 teach us about the physical appearance and nature of Jesus? Why did so many miss His true nature because of this?
What does 53:3 lead us to see about the path to redemption that Jesus walked for us? See also 2 Cor. 5:17-21.
Point 3 - The Servant Bore the Sins of the People (53:4-6)
How do verses 4-5 help us understand the nature of Jesus’ suffering for our redemption? See also Hebrews 4:15.
What does verse 6 teach us about why Jesus’ sacrifice was necessary to achieve redemption? See also Romans 3:11-12.
Point 4 - The Servant Dies in Innocence (53:7-9)
What do these verses teach us about how Jesus physically suffered and died? See also Luke 23; John 19.
What do these verses teach us about how Jesus spiritually suffered and died?
Point 5 - The Servant was Crushed but now Stands Victorious (53:10-12)
What does verse 10 teach us about the ultimate reason Jesus died for sin?
What does verse 11 reveal about the ultimate nature of Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection?
The Big Picture
The atoning death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is the central theme of Scripture. Without understanding Jesus, we can never truly understand the Bible. The fact that Jesus willingly gave Himself to the work of redemption is beyond our full comprehension but a truth that deserves the commitment of our entire lives. We have seen in Isaiah that the death and resurrection of Jesus was the plan long before Jesus actually came to the earth. It was in the mind of God from all eternity, accomplished perfectly by the work of Christ, and will be celebrated for all eternity. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
Purposeful Prayer: Pray for the unreached and unrepentant. As we approach Easter, we recognize this as a time of celebration and remembrance of Christ and what He has done for the Church. But, we also want to remember the reason for which He made this great sacrifice: the salvation of sinners. Therefore, we want to spend time as a group praying for the lost, those in our own lives and those around the world who have not yet heard or responded to Jesus.
How am I recognizing that Jesus willingly gave Himself to the work of redemption in my daily life?
How is my worship influenced by this reality?
How does Jesus’ sacrifice affect my reading of the Bible?