Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 61
ISAIAH 51 – 53 – PART 2
Okay, again, we always like to emphasize for our television viewers, and we know we get new ones every day, that we’re just an informal Bible study. We don’t claim to be highly educated theologians. I don’t have any degrees behind my name. We just teach as the Lord lays it upon our hearts to teach. We just thank the Lord for touching so many hearts through our ministry.
Okay, let’s just get right back into where we left off in Isaiah 53. This great chapter was written 700 years before Christ and depicts the crucifixion so graphically. If we have time in this half-hour, we’ll go back and compare some of these verses with Psalms 22 where we have much the same to show again that this is truly the Word of God. How divinely inspired every word has to be!
All right, let’s come back again to verse 8 where it was spoken that He was “taken from prison and from judgment.” Now, you want to remember, if you understand the night of the arrest and leading up to the crucifixion, they arrested Him in the early hours of the morning. Probably at 3 o’clock and pitch dark. They imprisoned Him for a few hours in a place we usually visit when we go to Jerusalem. Then, He was taken out of there and brought before the judgment hall of Pilate.
“He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: (not for anything He had done, but) for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” All right, let’s go to Daniel. We mentioned in our last program that we were going to do this. Let’s jump up to Daniel chapter 9. This is that great chapter of the benchmark of all prophecy.
Daniel chapter 9 where we find that He is spoken of in exactly the same kind of language, and where we have this prophecy concerning the Messiah and Israel and the coming of the anti-Christ and the Tribulation and so forth. But in verse 24:
“Seventy weeks (That is of years, or 490 years.) are determined upon thy people (the nation of Israel) and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:…”Or 69 weeks of years or 483 years. Remember that 490 years are promised in this prophecy. Now, verse 26.
“And after three score and two weeks (plus the other seven for a total of 69 weeks of years or 483) shall Messiah be (what?) cut off, (All of a sudden His life on earth will be ended.) but not for himself:…” Not for Himself. Again, the emphasis is He didn’t deserve it. He did nothing to deserve death.
“…and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;…” This is a reference, of course, to the Romans out of which empire the anti-Christ will come, which is still future.
So, here we have Scripture identified with Scripture with the exact same words that “he was cut off from amongst the living.” All right, now in Isaiah chapter 53 verse 9, there is another direct prophecy that was fulfilled to the last detail.
“And he made his grave with the wicked, (That is amongst lost humanity.) and with the rich in his death…” His tomb was in a piece of real estate owned by wealthy Joseph of Arimathaea, a wealthy Jew.
“…because he had done no violence, (He had done nothing to precipitate His death.) neither was any deceit in his mouth.” That’s why we’re constantly emphasizing He never said a word in rebuttal. He never tried to defend Himself. He stayed silent. Now, verse 10:
“Yet it pleased the LORD (that is God the Father in this case) to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,…” Now, let’s come all the way back. In fact, let’s go all the way back to Genesis chapter 3. There had to be a sin offering to restore the fellowship of mankind with the Creator God. Let’s go back to Genesis chapter 3 or 4. I can use either one. Let’s go to chapter 4 and drop in at verse 4. We’ll skip over Cain for a minute and come down to Abel.
“And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock (which indicates, more than likely, a sheep) and of the fat thereof. (In other words, the very best that he had in his flock of sheep.) And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:” Well, what kind of an offering was it? It was a sin offering. Now, let’s compare that all the way up to Hebrews, chapter 11, and drop down to verse 4. This is the New Testament reference to that very same sacrifice that Abel gave.
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice (What kind of a sacrifice? It was a sin offering to cover his sin.) than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it (That is by his faith.) being dead yet speaketh.” All right, come back to Isaiah 53, again. So, Christ became that sin offering, not just for Israel but for the whole human race. All right, let’s see, where was I? Verse 10.
“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,” The sins of the whole world. Now, so many have seen the movie, The Passion. You’ve heard my comments on it as well as others. There was no way humanly possible for anybody to show what Christ really accomplished when He settled the sin debt of the whole human race. That’s beyond our comprehension. He didn’t just die for the few. He died for every one from Adam and Eve to the end of time. Every sin was paid for in that death at the cross.
No movie can show that. All we saw was just a little tip of the iceberg. His physical suffering, but in the realm of the spiritual, He had to be God. This is what I tell people when I deal with the cults and some of these false religions that have no plan of redemption. Their so-called prophet or whatever they want to call him can’t die for the sins of the whole human race. They don’t even try to express it. They know better than that, I guess. But this One did. He died for every sin of every human being to bring about our salvation. And all we have to do to appropriate that salvation is to believe in our heart that “Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again” as we saw in the last half-hour.
“…when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”
Well, imagine the suffering that Jesus went through on the way to the cross, going all the way back to the early morning hours and as He hung there in agony and shame. Yet, what was the most glorious aspect of all of God’s dealing with the human race? The resurrection! That was primary. How He arose from the dead victorious over all of His opposition. There was nothing that could take from His power and His glory when He arose from the dead.
“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:…”
Why? What was the next to the last statement on the cross, or is it the last? “It is (what?) finished.” What have men been trying to do ever since? They been saying, “No, it wasn’t finished, we’ve got to do this, and we’ve got to do that.” No, beloved, it was finished! It’s that finished work plus NOTHING that brings our salvation. And, oh, what a pity that such a finished work of redemption has been besmirched with men trying to “do something.” It’s pitiful. But we’ll just keep proclaiming that it’s by faith and faith alone in that finished work, culminating in the power of His resurrection.
“He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: (Because it was finished, there was nothing more that could be done.) by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify (what?) many;…” Not just Israel, even though Israel is the only one being addressed in this passage. Now, let’s go all the way up to the Apostle Paul. Let’s go up to Romans chapter 3 and see how this same suffering Messiah now becomes the object of faith of not just Israel but of the whole world, Jew and Gentile.
“What then? are we (Now, remember, Paul can speak as a Jew.) [Jews] better than they?” Those Gentiles? Well, ordinarily the answer would have been what? Well, you’d better believe it! But not after Paul becomes the Apostle. Now, we know they are not better than the Gentiles. Everybody in the whole human race is on the same level playing field, and he tells us that.
“No, in no wise: for we have before proved (Now, this is the Word of God. This isn’t just one man’s idea. This is inspired just like Isaiah was.) that both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin. 10. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Not even in Israel. Not even amongst the Gentiles. All right, now then, come all the way over to verse 19. This is the Apostle writing in light of everything that God had accomplished through the nation of Israel, who were under the Law and Temple worship. The Messiah came to them as the Shepherd of the sheep of Israel, but now Paul brings us across that great divide and includes the Gentile as well.
“Now we know (There are no ifs, ands, or buts.) that what things soever the law saith, (Now, the Law here is a reference to the Ten Commandments.) it saith to them who are under the law:” Now, I think you all know who was under the Law. Israel. The Jew. Gentiles weren’t under the Law, ever. But the Law didn’t stop at Israel’s border. It went all around the globe.
“…that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world (not just Israel) may become guilty before God. 20. Therefore by the deeds of the law (or the keeping of the Ten Commandments,) there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:” My goodness, tell this to your fellow church members. Most of them, not all, but most of them think that if they do their best and keep the Commandments, they’ll make it. Hey, nobody’s ever going to get to Glory keeping the commandments, because it’s impossible.
“…there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:” Why? The Law wasn’t given to save. The Law was given to condemn. It was an instrument of death, II Corinthians 3 tells us. Yet, how many of even Christendom feel that the Ten Commandments are somehow going to be their ticket to eternal bliss. Well, I’ve got news for them; it’s a ticket for the other direction.It’s a condemnation of death.
“…for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The knowledge that we’re lost. All right, but now, verse 21. You know, I’m still thinking about making a program someday on the ‘but now’s’ in Scripture. I don’t know if I’ll get it done, but we’re going to work on it.
“But now the righteousness of God without the law (See that? With the Law completely out of the picture) is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;” Of course, that’s why we’re studying Isaiah; to see that all things written back there were building block leading up to our glorious Gospel of Grace.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ (and now look) unto all and upon all them that…” (Them that keep the Commandments? No! To all of them that that repent and are baptized? No! To all them that do good works? No. I could keep going and going and going with what most of Christendom is trying to put in here. That’s not there. But it’s to all of them that what?
“…believe:…” What is the other word for believe? Faith. By faith.
“…for there is no difference:” A Jew has to be saved today the same way that we Gentiles are, and a lot of them are being misled. Fortunately, we are getting a few who are responding; they’re seeing. All right, now then, keep moving in this chapter. We might as well just keep reading verse after verse.
“For all (Jew and Gentile) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24. Being justified freely (not by works but) by his grace through the redemption (or the process of paying the price) that is in Christ Jesus:” What was the price of redemption? His shed blood.
“Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his (what?) blood,…” Don’t hear that much anymore do you? Hardly ever. But, you can’t take the blood out of Scripture. Now, some translations are trying, but God won’t have it. We still have to have faith in His shed blood as the price of our redemption.
“…through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26. (Oh, I love this one.) To declare, I say, at this time…” On this side of the cross, Isaiah 53 couldn’t say this yet. It hadn’t happened. It was prophesied, but it hadn’t happened. But now, at this time, he can declare:
“…his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” There is no salvation in anything else. We’re justified by faith in Jesus Christ! Not His earthly ministry, but rather, by faith in His death, burial, and resurrection!
“Where is boasting then? It is excluded…. 28. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” So, now we can come back to Isaiah 53 and pick up again this whole plan of salvation prophesied in this one chapter. It should appeal to every Jew wherever they are, that an Old Testament prophet depicted the suffering of their Messiah in such distinct language.
“…for he shall bear their iniquities. (Which He did when He hung on that cross.) 12. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: (Now, that’s speaking again of His death by crucifixion.) and he was numbered with the transgressors; (What does that mean? The two thieves one on either side.) and he bear the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Now, I’m not going to take you back because I trust you all remember. As they were hanging there and suffering, and none of us can comprehend what crucifixion did, but as they were suffering the one thief turned to Him and said what?“Remember thou me.” What was Jesus’ answer? “Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.” Here, it’s prophesied 700 years before it happened. I hope I’ve said that often enough this afternoon that you remember it. Seven hundred years before it all happened, this chapter lays it out detail by detail how “He bear the sin of many.”
All right, I think we’ll take the last five minutes and come back to Psalms chapter 22. Here we have the same kind of graphic language but written even earlier than Isaiah. David writes, probably around 1000 BC, and look at the language. Remember that this is 1000 years before Christ.
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Where did you hear that before? It was one of the statements from the cross.) why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? (As He’s suffering) 2. O my God,…” Now, let’s be careful. When Christ called out to God here on earth, He cried out from His humanity. Whenever He prayed He prayed from His human side. When He used His Deity side He didn’t have to pray, He was God.
In other words, when He forgave the sin of the woman taken in adultery, He didn’t have to pray and ask God to forgive her. He forgave her. This is what disturbs the Jew. Well, who was He to forgive that woman’s sin? He was God! That’s why He could forgive her sin. He didn’t have to pray. But you see, whenever He cries out to God, He cries from the human side. That’s, of course, where He suffered, from the human side.
“Oh my God, I cry in the daytime, (Now, we know He was crucified sometime in the forenoon and it was about six hours before He gave up the Spirit.) but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (That is the God of Abraham.) 4. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6. But I (Now, the God-man, speaking from His humanity) am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” Now, what’s he speaking of? While he’s being beaten and His beard was being pulled and the crown of thorns was being plaited on His head, He was just simply treated like worse than an animal. But the cry is from His humanity.
“All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8. He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” What did they taunt Him with as he hung on the cross? “Well, if thou be God let the angels come down and take you down.” They taunted Him. They scoffed at Him. All right, now verse 9:
“But thou art he that took me out of the womb: (Now, where do we go? All the way back to Bethlehem) thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.” As a young lad He grew up in humanity.
“I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from mother’s belly. 11. Be not far from me; for there is trouble near; for there is none to help. (Nobody came to His defense.) 12. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.” That’s speaking of all of His enemies as they scorned Him and scoffed Him. Now, verse 13:
“They gaped upon me with their mouth, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14. I am poured out like water, (What did He cry out from the cross? I thirst.) all my bones are out of joint:…” Why? That’s what crucifixion did. As they were hanging there with arms outstretched it pulled almost every bone from its socket. It was a horrible way to die. Here the Psalmist graphically explains it.
“…my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15. My strength is dried up like a potsherd;” What’s a potsherd? It is a piece of clay. All of these are graphic descriptions of the crucifixion.