The Atonement: The Obedience of the Suffering Servant, Part 2.

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7-9)

“Martin Luther called Christianity a theology of the cross. The figure of the cross is the universal symbol of Christianity. The concept of atonement reaches back to the Old Testament where God set up a system by which the people of Israel could make atonement for their sins. To atone is to make amends, to set things right.” Dr. R. C. Sproul

Isaiah 53:7-9 is the fourth section of five in Isaiah’s Fourth Servant Song of Yahweh (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). In these three verses we witness The Obedience of the Suffering Servant. Today, we examine Isaiah 53:8: “By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?”

 “By oppression and judgment he was taken away.” In the Hebrew, the phrase “By oppression (me’o’ser) means restraint and coercion. Within this text, it means a condition of hardship and trouble for someone. Judgement (mis’pat) means a legal action. Finally, “he was taken away” means to be seized.

Dr. John Walvoord says, After His oppression (being arrested and bound, John 18:12, 24) and judgment (sentenced to die, John 19:16) Jesus was led to His death. He died not because of any sins of His own (for He, the Son of God, was sinless, 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 John 3:5) but because of (for) the sins (transgression, peša‘; cf. Isa. 53:5) of others. To be taken away means to be taken to death.”

 “And for His generation.” The word generation (dor) means a class of persons. If refers in the immediate context to the Jews. It was Jesus’ human family line. This means that Jesus died and left no physical, human descendants. It could also mean that those who were related to Him (Matthew 13:53-58; Mark 6:1-6) considered His death important.

 “Who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living.” This is an obvious description of Jesus’ death. However, “stricken for the transgression of my people” indicates that Jesus’ death was a substitutionary one on behalf of the people of God.

Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The Servant lost his life to be the substitute object of wrath in the place of the Jews, who by that substitution will receive salvation and the righteousness of God imputed to them. Similar terminology applies to the Messiah in Daniel 9:26.”

 Isaiah 53:7-8 was the portion of Scripture the Ethiopian Eunuch was reading when he encountered Phillip. This is the particular text Phillip explained was referring to Jesus Christ (Acts 8:32–33).

I encourage you to meditate upon the words from Matt Redman’s song Mercy.

I will kneel in the dust
At the foot of the cross,
Where mercy paid for me.
Where the wrath I deserve,
It is gone, it has passed.
Your blood has hidden me.

 Mercy, mercy,
As endless as the sea.
I’ll sing Your hallelujah
For all eternity.

 We will lift up the cup
And the bread we will break,
Remembering Your love.
We were fallen from grace,
But You took on our shame
And nailed it to a cross.

 Mercy, mercy,
As endless as the sea.
I’ll sing Your hallelujah
For all eternity.

 May I never lose the wonder,
Oh, the wonder of Your mercy.
May I sing Your hallelujah.
Hallelujah, Amen.

 I will kneel in the dust
At the foot of the cross,
Where mercy paid for me.

 May God’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

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